UNIVERSITY of the East coach Boycie Zamar said his team’s heartbreaking defeat to Far Eastern University was a “tragedy” that exposed the Red Warriors' lack of maturity.
“Kumbaga, tragedy sa akin. Kumbaga, malapit ka na sa pier, nabangga ka pa, lumubog ka pa,” said a dejected Zamar in the aftermath of the Warriors’ 98-94 double overtime loss to the Tamaraws on Sunday afternoon.
The Warriors appeared headed for their fifth straight victory after Ralf Olivares buried a deuce for an 84-77 lead with 23.5 seconds to play in the first overtime.
But the Tamaraws authored a huge fightback with Terrence Romeo hitting a lay-up followed by a Gryann Mendoza three-pointer off a UE boo-boo off an inbound to creep within 84-82.
UE had another shot at victory but Roi Sumang could only split his free throws, eventually opening the door for Mike Tolomia to bury a triple with 3.1 seconds left to force a second extension.
The Tamaraws eventually won the contest as Romeo finished with 30 points to make up for the absence of another star player in RR Garcia, who missed the match to serve a one-game suspension.
Zamar said the team’s lack of maturity and mental toughness showed in the first overtime.
“It’s all about maturity. You can’t celebrate early, you have to shoot your free throws. It’s all about mental toughness. You have to be matured and mentally tough,” said Zamar.
Zamar hopes the Warriors will recover in time as they face National University Bulldogs on Saturday. NU is currently on a four-game winning streak.
“Kailangan naming umahon, kailangan naming mag-survive, kailangan namin gumamit ng raft at bangka to survive this race to the Final Four,” said Zamar.
The loss spoiled Sumang’s 25-point effort as well as Charles Mammie’s 27-point rebound haul.