UNIVERSITY of the East coach Derrick Pumaren said the postponement of the team's Wednesday game was ‘partly to blame’ for the Red Warriors’ sluggish start to its match against Adamson on Saturday.
The Warriors were supposed to face University of Santo Tomas on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena, but the league postponed the scheduled doubleheader as typhoon ‘Glenda’ battered the metropolis and nearby provinces that same day.
Pumaren said the postponement of the game contributed to the poor start of UE against Adamson as the Warriors uncharacteristically found themselves trailing the unheralded Falcons, 39-40, at halftime.
“Maybe partly,” said Pumaren. “We lost our momentum because we were already preparing for UST.”
Pumaren said the ‘bed weather’ also had an effect on the players.
“We were a little bit sluggish when we showed up in practice on Thursday,” said Pumaren. “The players were going back to the old habits of trying to beat our opponents by outscoring them. It often starts from playing defense and we didn’t do that.”
Pumaren said he was glad the players responded following the halftime break. And thanks to their pressure defense, the Warriors started the third quarter with a 12-0 run and never looked back for a 99-72 win over the Falcons.
“I’m proud of the way we played in the second half. They responded to the challenge,” said Pumaren.
Following a 2-0 start with wins against UP and Adamson, the Warriors now prepare for battle next week against the defending champions La Salle Green Archers.
“Our test was supposed to be against UST but because of the cancellation, our big test will now be on Sunday where we will be playing the defending champions.”
“I like our position but like I said, we haven’t proven anything. We still have to earn our respect in the league,” Pumaren added.