After bagging the Fil Oil Cup crown last summer, UE was effortlessly tagged as one of the favorites for the UAAP Season 76 title. It includes beating UST in a pulsating Semi-final match and burying Ray Parks Jr. together with NU Bulldogs in a tambakan-blues in the final match. Players are seemingly all on the same page and on a mission to redeem the loss glory.
They have all the pieces to contend against the best of the league: A behemoth center in Charles Mammie who celebrates every shot-made, reliable scorer in JM Noble, decent rebounder in Andi Santos, deadly shooter in Ralp Olivares, relentless defender in Lord Casajeros, and supersumang in Roi Sumang plus the fact that they have quality contributors from the bench that ready to step-up anytime. Of course the undying support from UE community is always behind them every game.
All are set to conquer UAAP.
With all the hype surrounding their first game of the season 76, FEU Tamaraws spoiled the debut of the Red Warriors in devastating fashion. Red Warriors had a perfect 1st half but gone cold in the 2nd half that allows the Tamaraws to steal the game. The promise turns to disappointments. The sky high confidence of warriors plummeted as they are quickly sent back crashing on earth. Alright it’s just one game, one loss. There are more games to play.
They ended the first round with 4-3 card that involves come from behind wins that surely toughen their nerves. Had a mini run in the Season 76, having four straight victories. Totally looking good and seems peaking at the right time like diesel. They will be in their sharpest come playoff time.
Familiar foe is once again on their way to test their character.
Ice- cold FEU Tamaraws takes on the red-hot UE Warriors for Battle of the East round two. Sure, UE is on a four-game winning streak while FEU is coming from their first back to back losses of the season after sweeping the first round. No more UE domination in the first half this time instead it’s the other way around. FEU had a complete control of the game until the last 4 minutes of the 4th that saw UE pressing the right buttons that sent the game into overtime.
The UE Red Warriors looked primed to get their five-straight winning streak after taking a seven point lead with just 23 seconds left but not against the determined Tamaraws. FEU unleashed a scoring brigade that forced second OT. In second overtime, Red Warriors runs out of gas to close out a very emotional game, Mammie and Sumang played 4o-plus minutes that limit their performance. FEU won the game which snapped their two-game slides while for UE the loss was the start of their ordeal.
After the loss, UE were never the same before. They loss four close games in a row (including against FEU), four important games which decides their season. I believe the loss to the FEU was the turning point. They loss not only the game but also Charles Mammie, Lord Casajeros and Ralf Olivares that could have made big impacts in those close games losses. If only Sumang made the crucial free-throw against La Salle, or if they able to close out the game against Ateneo, I’m sure things will not hurt me this much.
The season that began with so much promise ended with a nauseating bang. The dreams of supremacy in UAAP Men’s Basketball have not seen. This now UE roster is their best chance to compete for the title but it is now lost. Big holes are left with the departure of six graduating students, comprising of starters Andi Santos, JM Noble, Ralp Olivares and Lord Casajeros. Will they find the fit personnel to pursue our dream of conquering the UAAP? Let me remind you, Roi Sumang is sidelined because of an MCL injury we don’t know if it can affect his performance or mentality next season.
With all indications, it is now clear as day UE’s dream of dominating the UAAP Men’s Basketball is now over before it actually started.
I am a big basketball fan. In my four years stayed in UE, I have never experienced a championship. I can still vividly recall the joy brought by every Red Warrior’s crucial win. Everyone in the campus is happy, quizzes are cancelled plus points incentives, guards will greet you upon entering, admin staffs are accommodating. What more if we get the crown huh? It may not now, it may not next season but I know the Warriors time will come. They are tracking the right path; we are in the middle of the process of winning. As what coach Boycie told his players “Hindi pa tapos to” Sino ka? “WARRIOR AKO”. JAdG twitter.com/awesomealvin028