UE coach Pumaren mum on 'One Clean Fight' taunts but rues Chris Newsome's 21 free throws
UE supporters arrived for the Ateneo game with 'One Clean Fight' boards, a play on the Blue Eagles' famous 'One Big Fight' chant. Jerome Ascano

COACH Derrick Pumaren refused to comment on the 'One Clean Fight’ chants and banners of the University of the East gallery inside the Mall of Asia Arena during the Red Warriors’ UAAP men’s basketball game against Ateneo Wednesday night.

The taunting was obviously an offshoot of the complaints over the officiating during the the two teams' face-off in the first round which saw a total of 75 free throw attempts, including 40 from Ateneo and 25 for Blue Eagles star Kiefer Ravena alone.

Although there were less free throws awarded this time – a total of 56 including 32 for the Eagles – Pumaren can’t help but point out the number of foul shots awarded to Ateneo, specifically to Chris Newsome.

The veteran mentor cited that Newsome was given 21 free throws in all.

“Well, I think you saw it. It was not Ravena who got 25. It was Newsome who got 21,” said Pumaren.

The UE mentor had his share of moments with the referees again as he was seen several times complaining to a number of calls by the officials.

When pressed to comment on the ‘One Clean Fight’ banners and chants, Pumaren left it to the media to come up with their own conclusions.

“One clean fight? I think you have to decide on that,” he said.

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With Ravena and Newsome taking charge, the Blue Eagles pulled off a 78-73 win over the Warriors to complete a two-game sweep of their head-to-head encounter in the eliminations.

“We fell short again. We were not able to deliver again,” said Pumaren.

Ravena clinched the win for Ateneo by hitting a triple from behind the key that stretched the Eagles’ lead to four in the final 14.2 seconds of the game.

But Pumaren said he was not taking the credit away from the Eagles as he lauded Ravena for making the shot over Renz Palma while citing a defensive miscue on the part of his team.

“That was a tough shot by Kiefer. I think Palma made a mistake that he didn’t pressure him. We had a rule on one-on-one that you have to pressure him and make him commit,” said Pumaren.

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