Derrick Pumaren insists UE a Final Four team that 'failed to show up' in season debut
Derrick Pumaren made no effort to hide his disappointment over UE's debut. Jaime Campos

UNIVERSITY of the East coach Derrick Pumaren has always felt that the Red Warriors are a Final Four team this season. But the veteran mentor was disappointed to see a different squad on the floor in their UAAP Season 79 debut on Wednesday.

UE lost to National University, 72-66, to open their campaign in the UAAP this year on a sour note, a result that Pumaren wasn’t expecting.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the team that I see everyday is a Final Four team. But it didn’t show today,” said Pumaren.

Bonbon Batiller scored a game-high 18 points for the Red Warriors but Alvin Pasaol scored just 10 on a paltry 2-of-14 clip from the field.

With the opening day defeat, Pumaren is expecting nothing but a big bounce back against University of Santo Tomas on Saturday.

“It was a different team. I expect them to bounce back on Saturday against UST,” said Pumaren. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports