UNIVERSITY of the East coach Derrick Pumaren admitted the Red Warriors' attitude towards their preparation for Saturday's game against University of Santo Tomas drastically changed in their search for the first win of UAAP Season 80.
The long wait finally ended on Saturday as the Red Warriors beat the Growling Tigers, 96-91, to end a six-game slide.
Pumaren said the 106-100 loss to La Salle on Wednesday was a big boost for the team coming into their first game since Alvin Pasaol scored 49 points, the highest in the UAAP in 15 years, against the Green Archers.
"I think even in practice, the atmosphere was really different," said Pumaren. "You can feel the excitement in practice. Even though it was a loss, you feel good about it. And that's the feeling of the team when we practiced on Thursday and Friday," said Pumaren.
Even though the Red Warriors struggled to start the season, Pumaren said the slow start didn't dampen the spirits of the players and the loss to La Salle only added to the already positive environment within the team.
"One thing that is good with the team is that inspite of the standing that we have, we stayed positive. That's what we have to do. We just stay together. We talked about it right before the game against La Salle that (we might just) gonna lie, roll down, and die. But they made a stand," said Pumaren.
Pumaren, however, hopes UE will not be complacent with its first victory of the season.
"I hope we can continue that. As I've said, I'm hoping that the change is not temporary. We have to do that in the second round. It's next week. We can't just be happy with this win. We got the whole second round to play," said Pumaren.
"We had more talent last year, I must say. But we have better attitude this season. We just have to iron out minor kinks sa team namin," said Pumaren.