University of the East (UE) played with steely confidence in the endgame to score an 85-83 come-from-behind win over De La Salle University on Saturday in UAAP men’s basketball at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Down by as many as 10 points in the final period, the Red Warriors relied on the clutch plays of Ralf Olivares and guard Dan Alberto in the last minute mark to pull ahead and seal the win.
With the victory, UE has three wins against three losses in the elimination round.
“The players played above pressures 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.”
Playmaker Roi Sumang produced 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists to lead the Red Warriors despite playing injured.
“He (Sumang) is now a wounded Warrior,” said Zamar, who did not elaborate on Sumang’s injury.
Charles Mammie scattered 19 points and grabbed 16 rebounds – 12 in the offensive end – while Christopher Javier tallied 16 points and Alberto had nine.
Olivares and John Noble added eight points each for UE, who registered 21-of-24 shooting in the free throw line against La Salle’s 3-of-11 shooting from the foul line.
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.