by: John Reczon Calay
MANILA – After experiencing its first victory in 27 games last week and celebrating it through a bonfire feast, the underdogs suffered another painful double-digit spread defeat.
The UP Fighting Maroons fell anew today to the UE Red Warriors, 48-68, in their second round face-off in the UAAP Season 77 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
It was a slow start for the Maroons as they scored only seven points in the first canto. The Warriors took advantage of this weak UP start with a 7-0 run in the first minutes with Dan Alberto firing three rainbow-country shots, 7-18.
The Maroons had the opportunity to tie the match after a trey from Mikee Reyes but momentum was lost when skipper Moriah Gingerich was fouled while attempting a shot in the dying seconds of the first quarter, 24-32.
UP totally lost steam in the second half and had a hard time stopping 6’8 center Charles Mammie who scored 11 points in the half.
Kyles Lao, Henry Asilum and Gingerich’s shots lessened the 11-0 spurt in the third but was not enough to improve the offensive play for the Maroons.
Forward JR Gallarza was a non-factor today as he was limited to two points only far from his usual touches.
“Hindi ko naramdaman na masama yung offensive game ni JR eh,” Maroons head coach Rey Madrid said. “He gave up two open shots to make an extra pass, so I cannot fault him.”
UP finished the game with a dissatisfactory 24 percent shooting success from the field, a dismal 16 of 66.
The Warriors, meanwhile, handed UP with 29 turnovers.
“With due respect to UP, that was 29 possessions. We can’t afford to make mistakes,” UE head coach Derrick Pumaren said.
Despite playing without star player Roi Sumang, who is recovering from an ankle injury which he sustained from their matchup against UST, Mammie stepped up and led the Warriors with 15 points, 18 boards and four denials. Alberto and Mark Olayon added a combined 22 points.
Mikee Reyes led the Diliman-based squad with 19 points and four boards while Kyles Lao chipped in with 10 points and three rebounds.
Quarter scores: 7-18, 24-32, 36-51, 48-68
UP 48 – Reyes 19, Lao 10, Vito 7, Asilum 4, Gallarza 2, Gingerich 2, Moralde 2, Harris 2
UE 68 – Mammie 15, Alberto 11, Olayon 10, Javier 6, Galanza 5, Jumao-as 5, Charcos 4, Guiang 3, Arafat 2, De Leon 2, Varilla 2, Hernandez 2, Palma 1