UNIVERSITY of the East big man Charles Mammie had strong words for De La Salle going to the Warriors’ do-or-die encounter with the reigning UAAP men’s basketball champion on Wednesday.
“We are coming for them,” a confident Mammie said shortly after the Warriors posted a huge win over Far Eastern University Tamaraws on Sunday to keep their hopes alive for a Final Four berth.
“Right now, we can’t stop. We are looking forward to it. We will be fighting hard,” added the center from Sierra Leon.
The Warriors fight for dear life against the Green Archers as the two face off in the first game of a doubleheader at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Gametime is at 2 p.m.
With a 7-5 record, the Warriors are one loss away from elimination.
Mammie will have a big role to play for the Warriors if they want to get past the Archers, according to coach Derrick Pumaren.
And for them to have a chance against the reigning champions, Pumaren said La Salle’s big men should be contained and not allowed to dominate the paint.
“We are playing a tough team in La Salle. We just have to be ready. La Salle is more of an inside team, a bigger team, and that’s a big concern for us. We must be able to offset that kasi we can’t let La Salle establish their inside game,” said Pumaren, who once handled the Archers in the 90s.
The Warriors are riding the crest of their 94-71 win over the Tamaraws that saw them come through with a big 25-6 run that proved to be the big difference in the game.
The win moved UE just a game behind National University for the fourth and final spot in the semifinals.
But certainly, the Warriors were not in the mood to celebrate after the win as they still need to win their final two games to secure at least a playoff for the last Final Four berth.
“As I’ve told the guys, we are not yet out of the woods. We are still trying to stay alive. Naghahabol pa rin kami. We just have to take control of our destiny,” said Pumaren.
The game against UE is also a must-win for La Salle as a win meant a higher seeding in the Final Four.
A sweep by the Archers of their last two games will secure them the second-seed and a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals.
“We just want to play well on Wednesday. I know we have two games left. We want to make the most out of the opportunities and whatever happens, it’s something that we have to accept,” said La Salle coach Juno Sauler.
In the second game, National University faces also-ran University of Santo Tomas at 4 p.m. in a game with Final Four implications especially for the Bulldogs especially if UE wins over La Salle.
The Bulldogs have an 8-4 win-loss slate but can still climb to as high as No. 2 or can fall out of contention for the Final Four.
With a 5-7 win-loss slate, UST is already out of contention for a berth in the semis.