UNIVERSITY of the East got its act together just in time, scoring the game’s final five points on free throws to beat upset-conscious University of the Philippines, 62-57, on Saturday in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Roi Sumang hit the final four charities, including the final two that ended UP’s hopes of an upset bid.
The Red Warriors rolled to their third straight win to finish the first round on a three-game winning streak with a 4-3 win-loss card.
UE coach Boycie Zamar had mixed feelings after the victory.
When asked if he was satisfied with the victory, Zamar said: “Honestly, hindi. Honestly also, yes. Hindi in the sense na we can’t underestimate anybody. Yes, because they need this kind of win.”
“Remember, mag-one year palang ako sa kanila. There is no microwave success. Overnight means bukas pa ’yun, heto gusto nila five minutes lang. Honestly, they want a microwavable solution right away. Mahirap ’yun, hindi naman ito popcorn,” Zamar added.
Charles Mammie had another monster game with 22 rebounds to go along with his 17 points. Sumang added 10 points for the Red Warriors, who came so close to losing to the only winless team in the tournament.
Despite a miserable 6-of-37 from the field, UP, aching to finish the first round with a victory, appeared on the verge of taking the lead when JR Gallarza scored to make it, 57-57, and was fouled.
Gallarza missed, the Maroons got the offensive board but Gallarza was blocked by Sumang.
The Maroons came up empty after that sequence as turnovers marred their next offensive possessions.
Trailing 57-60 with 10.8 seconds left, Jason Ligad stepped on the touchline line when UP was going for a game-tying basket.
Raul Soyud, coming off a one-game suspension after incurring his second unsportsmanlike foul, had 10 points and 11 rebounds. Moriah Gingerich added 10 points while Gallarza had 10 points and 14 boards for UP.
The Maroons ended the first round with a 0-7 record, failing to duplicate last year’s performance when they won against the Red Warriors for their only victory in Season 75.
UE (62) – Mammie 17, Sumang 10, Santos 8, Casajeros 8, Olivares 7, Noble 4, Jumao-as 3, Alberto 3, Javier 2, Sumido 0, Hernandez 0, Flores 0.
UP (57) – Soyud 10, Gingerich 10, Gallarza 10, Ball 8, Ligad 6, Asilum 5, Marata 3, Wong 2, Paras 2, Pascual 1, Lao 0, Harris 0.
Quarterscores: 17-10; 29-20; 44-42; 62-57.