Joy and relief as UE Warriors finally win first game of season at Adamson's expense
UE players celebrate as if they've won a championship. Dante Peralta

UNIVERSITY of the East finally notched its first victory of the UAAP Season 79 men's basketball tournament in the form of a 64-57 win over Adamson on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

A huge 17-3 run to start the final period led the Red Warriors to their first win in seven outings, with UE coach Derrick Pumaren ending his dry spell at the expense of younger brother Franz Pumaren of Adamson.

“I thought I won’t see you guys in the first round. Kaya welcome back daw,” said UE coach Derrick Pumaren in his opening statement to the media for his first post-game interview at the press room.

“It was a hard-earned win. When we were up by five points with six minutes in the fourth, I told them there is nothing to celebrate. There is still an eternity of basketball. We just have to close out the game and we finally closed it out.”

Alvin Pasaol had 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks in an impressive all-around performance while RR De Leon finally came out of his shell by scoring 12 points for the Red Warriors.

UE trailed 45-40 entering the fourth before that 17-3 run that put the Red Warriors ahead, 57-48, with De Leon capping the big turnaround with a three-pointer.

Papi Sarr had 13 points and 25 rebounds for the Falcons, who lost for their second straight game to fall to a 3-3 win-loss slate.

The scores:

UE (64) — Pasaol 13, De Leon 12, Batiller 9, Manalang 7, Varilla 5, Bartolome 5, Olayon 5, Palma 2, Charcos 2, Penuela 2, Derige 2, Abanto 0.

Adamson (57) — Sarr 13, Ahanmisi 10, Manganti 8, Espeleta 6, Manalang 5, Ochea 5, Tungcab 5, Bernardo 3, Camacho 2, Mustre 0, Pasturan 0, Ng 0.

Quarterscores: 7-14, 21-30, 40-45, 64-57.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports