AFTER a slow start, the University of the East Warriors are finally looking like the team many thought they would be during the preseason.
“I always tell them to be patient with us,” said UE coach David Zamar, days after a come-from-behind 68-67 win over title contender University of Santo Tomas extended the Warriors' win run to four games.
The Red Warriors are the hottest team in the UAAP at the moment, with a 5-3 win-loss record after starting the season with three losses in their first four games.
The team, in fact, is close to doubling its win total in all of last season.
“Sabi ko nga sa kanila, for us, it’s an overachievement,” said Zamar. “When I took over, we had a 3-11 total (win-loss record). Sa first round, naging 4-3 and now we are on a four-game winning streak.
“I like the term ‘hottest team’ but we’ll take it from here,” he added.
Zamar, however, said the road is bound to get tougher as the Warriors target a Top 2 finish - and the twice-to-beat advantage that goes with it in the semifinal round.
As things stand now, UE and National University are just two games behind league leader Far Eastern University, which slumped to its second straight loss after completing a seven-game sweep of the first round.
Zamar's troops can further bridge the gap with a win over the Tamaraws on Saturday, but he insisted the race to the Final Four is still too close to call.
“Nakita naman natin na anybody’s game talaga kaya ang importante, nasa leaders kami. Yes, we are considered contenders pero lahat na rin kasi contenders,” said Zamar.
"In the second round, whoever makes the fewer mistakes wins it. As much as possible, dumikit lang kami sa leaders (okay na)," he added.