PAUL Varilla admitted that his own goal was a “bonehead play” but explained that he was just too pumped up for the game with University of the East needing the victory over University of Santo Tomas on Wednesday.
Varilla stunned the Araneta Coliseum crowd at the start of the game when he hit a lay-up in UE’s own basket even as UST defenders tried to stop him.
The UE forward laughed at the incident as he explained that he was so eager to contribute right away for a Warriors side that was desperate to boost its Final Four chances.
“We had a sense of urgency right away. It’s a must win for us. It’s a bonehead play but right away all I want is to be aggressive when I had the ball, all I thought about was attack,” said Varilla.
UE beat UST, 91-77, to close on idle No. 4 La Salle (5-6) and No. 5 National University (5-7).
UE coach Derrick Pumaren also laughed off the incident, more so since referees initially credited the basket to UE, instead of UST, and the inbound was awarded to UST. The basket was later corrected by game officials.
“Dapat, when we made the boo-boo, dapat bola namin,” said Pumaren. “Kasi naka-shoot sa basket nila eh dapat bola namin. I was telling them na bakit sa UST ‘yung bola.”
“Lamang kami, eh di okay. Binigay sa amin ‘yung two points eh. Hindi ko maintindihan na na-shoot sa kalaban, ang score sa amin. But I was telling them na it should be our ball (after the own goal was made),” said Pumaren.
Pumaren said the basket inspired his players to play better the rest of the way.
“At least that inspired us probably dahil lamang kami. Na-shoot sa kalaban, lamang kami,” said Pumaren.