UE hopes to use late comeback, Pasaol scoring feat as springboard in bout vs fellow winless team UST
UE coach Derrick Pumaren is looking forward to a tough battle with fellow winless team UST. Dante Peralta

UNIVERSITY of the East coach Derrick Pumaren was in a joking mood on Wednesday night as the Red Warriors head for their final first round match against fellow winless team University of Santo Tomas on Saturday.

"We need something coming into the finals on Saturday," said Pumaren, drawing laughs from reporters.

"I've heard that there is going to be a board meeting tomorrow dahil isi-single ticket ata 'yung game namin. May request pa ata na preliminary (first game) kami sa La Salle-Ateneo sa Sunday," he added.

The UE-UST game will be played on the heels of a record-breaking performance by Red Warriors star Alvin Pasaol, who  tallied 49 points in their 106-100 loss to La Salle on Wednesday.

Pasaol's mark shattered the previous high in the modern era of 43 made by now Letran coach and former National University star Jeff Napa in the Bulldogs' 98-92 win over Adamson on August 22, 2002 at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

That performance by Pasaol is a welcome boost to the Red Warriors squad eyeing their first win of the season.

Pumaren, though, believes UST is a better team based on the Tigers' close games during the first round.

"But we need something coming in and playing UST kasi UST is playing well. I think they are stronger based on the way they are playing," said Pumaren.

In Pasaol's record-breaking game, UE also made a late comeback in which the Red Warriors were able to slice the Green Archers' gap from a high of 25 points to six.

Pumaren hopes to see that kind of effort again against UST.

"I think we can use this (as a) positive na as a springboard getting into playing UST. Hopefully, we can translate that effort and sacrifice into a W this Saturday," said Pumaren.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports