UNIVERSITY of the East broke its four-game losing slide with a 72-62 win over University of Santo Tomas on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 77 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Emil Palma had 14 points while Charles Mammie added 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Red Warriors, who opened a 32-15 lead at halftime against a UST team without top big man Karim Abdul.
The win came like a whiff of fresh air for the Red Warriors, who had lost three games by just two points including an overtime defeat to Ateneo on Sunday.
The losses piled up for UE that coach Derrick Pumaren told mediamen to open his post-game interview: “First of all, long time, no see.”
Pumaren, however, made it clear he was not happy to see his players once again fail to protect a big lead after seeing a 29-point lead cut down to what it was at game's end.
“It was not really a good win. We relaxed. We lost a 20-point lead. For now, a win is a win. We got to get over that hump which hopefully will be a good start for us,” said Pumaren.
"We wanted to end the first round on a winning note," he added.
The Tigers (3-4) to lose their third straight game to wrap up the first round campaign. They were never really in the game after scoring just four points in the second quarter.
The Tigers were able to go on a 14-0 run to cut the Red Warriors’ lead to 60-42, but UE responded with an 8-0 blast to cement the win.
UE (72) – Palma 14, Mammie 12, Galanza 9, Sumang 8, Arafat 7, Javier 6, Alberto 6, Olayon 3, Varilla 2, De Leon 2, Charcos 2, Jumao-as 1, Guiang 0, Cudal 0, Derige 0, Hernandez 0.
UST (62) – Mariano 21, Ferrer 12, Vigil 8, Faundo 7, Sheriff 4, Daquioag 3, Pe 3, Lo 2, Lao 1, Subido 1, Gayosa 0, Macasaet 0.
Quarterscores: 19-11, 32-15, 60-31, 72-62.