UNIVERSITY of the East will play all-Filipino in the UAAP for the second straight year, confident it can improve on its decent run last year without an import.
UE coach Derrick Pumaren believes the effort in recruiting and time spent waiting for eligibility, at this point, are not worth it for the Red Warriors.
After all, they went a decent 6-8 in Season 78 to match La Salle’s win-loss record and was in contention for the semifinals before fizzling out down the stretch.
“I don’t think we need it because we don’t have it,” said Pumaren.
“Mahirap maghanap ng wala. I won’t cry over spilled milk,” he added.
The Red Warriors have been playing without an import in the UAAP since last year. UE had a foreign player in the summer of 2015 but he was eventually cut.
“Kasi kung kumuha ka, it’s still two years so why find one,” Pumaren said.
Instead of recruiting for foreigners, Pumaren said he is more focused on developing the players in the current pool. He was disappointed, though, with his wards’ showing in Friday’s loss to La Salle, 97-75, in a preaseason tournament.
“That’s not the UE Warriors. Not to take away from the win of La Salle, but we didn’t play well. We were not running what we are supposed to be out there. At halftime, what I was asking for them is play our game. That’s why I was disappointed with the loss,” said Pumaren.
Alvin Pasaol topscored for the Red Warriors with 13 points.