New season, same problem for Derrick Pumaren as UE coach calls out non-performing vets
UE coach Derrick Pumaren said his players gave up and let UP star Paul Desiderio have his way on offense. Dante Peralta

UNIVERSITY of the East coach Derrick Pumaren lamented his players' mentality particularly in the second half, where he felt the Red Warriors simply gave up in their UAAP Season 80 match against University of the Philippines.

The Red Warriors bowed for the third straight time as they dropped an 84-71 decision to the Fighting Maroons on Sunday, with Paul Desiderio scoring 16 of UP's 26 points in the third period.

Pumaren said UE simply allowed Desiderio to dominate as he ended up with a career-high 28 points in the match.

"I think Desiderio killed us in the third quarter," said Pumaren. "We just lost our poise. We simply ran away to what we are supposed to do. Instead of fighting, instead of competing, we just put our heads down and let Desiderio ran over us."

The veteran coach also called out some players whom he expected to lead this season but is still not performing up to his expectations, although Pumaren didn’t provide names.

"As I've told the boys, it's happening again this season na guys that are supposed to contribute, guys who are supposed to carry us this season, is not performing. As I've told them, I don't need to name names. You should know if you are performing or not," said Pumaren.

UE did put up a run in the fourth quarter where the Red Warriors were able to cut the gap from 23 to 13 at the end of the game, and Pumaren can only hope that their strong finish carries over to their next game against league-leader Ateneo on Sunday.

"Hopefully, 'yung last three minutes na we were fighting will translate it into something positive when we play the favorites like Ateneo on Sunday," said Pumaren. 

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