University of the East

University of the East Red Warriors

The Warriors are taking in nine rookies into the fold. But as mentor Warriors Derrick Pumaren said, "it's anybody's ball game." Can the youngsters deliver come game time? | Toledo


UAAP Season 78 Preview

Head coach: Derrick Pumaren, who is on his second year with the team and who once played for both UE and DLSU.

UAAP Season 77 record: 9-6 including playoffs

Losses: Dan Alberto, Bong Galanza, Daryll Guiang, Ivan Hernandez, Gino Jumao-as, Charles Mammie, Moustapha Arafat, Mark Olayon and Roi Sumang.

Holdovers: Edgar Charcos, Steven Cudal, RR De Leon, Clark Derige, Chris Javier, Renz Palma, and Paul Varilla.

Newcomers: Nick Abanto, Edson Batiller, Shannon Gagate, Joshua Gonzales, Philip Manalang, Ralph Penuela, Jordan Sta. Ana, Jason Varilla, and Fran Yu.

Team breakdown

Man, like NU and Adamson, they lost a lot of key players. And that's practically a lot of their offense and defense. Now this team? They can play defense. The problem is translating the forced turnovers into points. Finishing was a problem all summer. Their two best players - Renz Palma and Paul Varilla - are talented but were very inconsistent in their scoring and contributions. Head coach Derrick Pumaren says that his team is more or less at 80 percent of where they want to be and they have adjusted their offensive woes.

Witness Jordan Sta. Ana. Late of NU in high school (who was recruited out of Colegio de San Benildo in Antipolo), Sta. Ana had his moments during the summer and he could be just that scoring guard they need to replace Roi Sumang's (who was never comfortable with Pumaren's system) scoring.

Edson Batiler, who they recruited out of Holy Trinity College out of General Santos City, could be another source for points. Like the rest of his teammates, consistency, is the challenge.

UE filled up the point guard position by adding NU's Philip Manalang and Chiang Kai Shek's Fran Yu. Both are hard-nosed defenders who can shoot and pass. You can't take them for granted or they will burn you.

The big challenge is for Javier, De Leon, Cudal and Gagate to patrol that lane. They need to not only score but to also rebound and provide defense. If they can't do that, then they will place so much pressure on the guards and the wingmen to score and defend. You can get away with that in high school, but not in college where players are taller.

They were supposed to parade Betrand Awana at center, and this behemoth suited up for them in the summer leagues. He was a rim protector whose scoring was an adventure.  He's out of the lineup now after Pumaren cut him  for having an attitude problem. And we all know that Manong Derrick is a stickler for discipline. So that gives UE less size inside.

So the Red Warriors, with their African adventure in shambles (after all that was spent and wasted on Charles Mammie, Moustapha Arafat and now Awana) will play all-Filipino. It is time for Chris Javier, their captain, to live up to his promise. He has been on and off. Mostly off. In the latter stages of this summer's tourneys, he began to play better. Here's to hoping he can continue that into what is his final UAAP season.

This team could pull some surprises. 

Lineups University of the East

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