MOMENTS after University of the East dropped to 1-3, head coach Boycie Zamar said he is not pressing the panic button at all, but simply told his boys that the tournament is far from over.
“In moments like these, the more we should stick together,” Zamar told Spin.ph, shortly after emerging from the gloomy UE dugout following the Red Warriors’ 77-88 loss to the rampaging University of Santo Tomas.
Zamar said he reminded his boys to remember how they overcame the odds during the Fil-Oil Flying V preseason tournament, which they eventually won following their huge championship conquest of National University in the Finals.
“Tandaan lang dapat nila na nanggaling na kami sa ganito, nag 1-2 kami nung Fil-Oil so di na bago ito (slow start) sa amin,” explained Zamar, a member of the UE squad that won back-to-back UAAP championships, which incidentally were the Recto-based school’s last pair of league titles.
When asked how big of a void Sierra Leonian big man Charles Mammie left after serving his one-game suspension, Zamar said it’s something they had to live with despite the last-minute appeal they made.
“It’s (UAAP board’s decision) something that’s beyond our control. Nag-appeal na kami pero wala eh,” he said.
With the 6-foot-8 Mammie out, UST's Camerooninan center Karim Abdul dominated the paint and finished with a new league career-high 25 points on top of 13 rebounds. Aljon Mariano also came up big with 24 markers and 11 boards, while Edward Daquioag added 19 as the trio more than filled up the shoes vacated by injured UST star Jeric Teng.
Zamar, though, wondered why UST got 39 free throws compared to UE’s 17, a whopping difference of 22 attempts.
UST finished the game with 29-of-39 from the foul line, compared to UE’s seven-of-12.
“We just need to come back strong because we’re down, but we’re not yet out,” said Zamar.
UE tries to regain its bearings next Wednesday when it goes up against Ateneo.