UNIVERSITY of the East (UE) displayed a nerve of steel performance to pull off a close, 85-83, come-from-behind win over De La Salle University on Saturday in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball Season 76 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Down by 10 points in the payoff period, the Red Warriors relied on the prowess of Ralf Olivares and guard Dan Alberto in the last minute mark to vanish the deficit enroute to the victory that improved their slate to three wins against three losses.
“The players played above pressure and above their egos and personal problems,” said UE head coach Boyzie Zamar. “They must be mature and they must keep playing good defense. So far, I’m very happy with this win but we must be consistent.”
Though suffering from body pains, playmaker Roi Sumang notched 21 points along with seven rebounds and six assists.
“He [Sumang] is now a wounded Warrior,” said Zamar, who did not specify Sumang’s injury.
The 6’8 Charles Mammie for his part finished with 19 points and grabbed 16 rebounds – 12 in the offensive end – while Christopher Javier posted 16 points and Alberto nine.
Olivares and John Noble added eight points each for the Red Warriors, who registered 21-of-24 shooting in the free throw line (87.5%) against La Salle’s 3-of-11 shooting in the foul line (27.3%).
After La Salle’s Luigi dela Paz’s long jumper that trimmed the deficit to only 84-83 with only 12 seconds left, a fouled Olivares sank one of two free throws with only six seconds remaining for an 85-83 UE lead.
La Salle’s point guard Thomas Torres muffed a running jumper at the buzzer, allowing UE to escape from the jaws of defeat.
Guard Almond Vosotros scored 26 points with four triples while Jeron Teng had 13 points for the Green Archers, who dropped to 2-3 win-loss slate.
Josef T. Ramos