(Mall of Asia Arena)
2 p.m. – FEU vs NU
4 p.m. – La Salle vs Adamson
The breakthrough victory over Adamson may have been the timely tonic University of the East needed.
Buoyed by the win that ended a 0-6 start, the Red Warriors made it two in a row after frustrating the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers, 71-61, as second round action of the UAAP basketball tournament began yesterday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
UE was in control right from the get-go with a balanced attack led by almost everyone and led by 17 points at one point in the contest to forge a tie with its victim for sixth place at 2-6.
Mark Olayon was the lone double-digit scorer for the Red Warriors with 14 points while grabbing seven rebounds. Alvin Pasaol, who has become some sort of the team’s energy guy, added nine points, six rebounds, two steals and three blocks.
UE’s victory came six days after coming back from two 11-point deficits in the third quarter to stun Adamson, 64-57.
That comeback came the Red Warriors committed constant mistakes in the endgame that put them in a miserable start.
But after two straight wins, UE coach Derrick Pumaren, who before the season started described his team as a Final Four contender, is hopeful of a turnaround.
“That win against Adamson, we used it as a positive,” said Pumaren. “We have to pick up from there. Hopefully this is the start of something big for us.”
Louie Vigil had 21 points but committed a team-high 10 turnovers as the Growling Tigers dropped their fourth straight game. UST’s carelessness also led to 32 turnovers.
Ateneo was playing University of the Philippines at presstime in the second game.
Meanwhile, unbeaten La Salle eyes its eighth straight win with coach Aldin Ayo back on the sidelines as it plays Adamson today at the same venue.
Defending champion Far Eastern University battles National University in the 2 p.m. opener, their second meeting since the Tamaraws won last Wednesday.
UE 71 – Olayon 14, Pasaol 9, Charcos 9, Palma 8, Batiller 7, Bartolome 6, Mañalang 4, De Leon 4, Varilla 4, Abanto 2, Derige 2, Gagate 2, Penuela 0.
UST 61 – Vigil 21, Afoakwah 10, Faundo 10, Sheriff 5, Subudo 3, Basibas 3, Lao 2, Lee 2, De Guzman 2, Huang 2, Macasaet 1, Caunan 0.
Quarters: 23-13; 41-27; 59-47; 71-61.