UNIVERSITY of the East players all have one word to describe their UAAP Season 79 campaign—disappointing.
The Red Warriors underachieved this season, after finishing with a 3-11 win-loss record tied at the bottom with University of Santo Tomas although UE has the superior quotient to end up seventh in the standings.
UE coach Derrick Pumaren had high expectations for the team, even declaring that the Red Warriors can make it to the Final Four prior to Season 79. Sadly, UE fell way off target.
The Red Warriors struggled early, losing their first six games before ending the first round with a win at the expense of Pumaren’s brother Franz’s Adamson team.
There were signs of life for the Red Warriors when they struck back-to-back wins, only for the team to slip once again and lose four straight matches.
“Hindi lang medyo. Sobrang disappointing,” said RR De Leon, one of the veterans of the team. “Sabi nga ni coach after the game, ang una agad niyang sinabi hindi niya ineexpect na ganito matatapos ang season namin.”
The season ended on Wednesday with a 64-61 loss to Far Eastern University, a match where they blew an 11-point lead to suffer its 11th defeat.
“Sobrang disappointing ‘yung season kasi sobrang taas ng expectation sa amin,” Bon Batiller said. “Maraming nagsabi na mataas ang maaabot namin dahil ‘yung line-up namin, isa lang ang nawala last year tapos nadagdagan pa kami kaya sobrang disappointing talaga.”
Pumaren isn’t inclined to take a lengthy rest, according to the players. In fact, Pumaren plans to immediately return to practice to prepare for next season as the Red Warriors are already slated to join in offseason tournaments.
“Sabi niya, Friday training na agad kasi may liga na agad kami,” De Leon bared. “As early as after ng season, start na uli kami para mas mahaba ang preparation for next year.”
For his part, Batiller said he will use the disappointing Season 79 as a learning experience and apply the lessons next year.
“Kailangan mas ready at mas maging tough sa laro kasi nag-iimprove lahat ng team,” said Batiller.