Warriors off to rousing start, pummel Maroons in opener

By Aldo Avinante | Updated Saturday July 12, 2014 - 4:47pm
Members of the UE Red Warriors react after a play against the UP Fighting Maroons in Saturday's opening game of the 77th UAAP men's basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. AJ BOLANDO

MANILA, Philippines - Hosts UE Red Warriors kicked off their UAAP Season 77 campaign on a high note, routing a hapless UP  Fighting Maroons squad, 87-59, in the opening game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Saturday.

Third-year guard Dan Alberto led the Warriors' charge, scoring 15 points - all coming from 3-point land - while Chris Javier added 12 markers and nine rebounds.

Ronnie De Leon and Gino Jumao-As chipped in 10 points apiece.

New coach Derrick Pumaren hopes to sustain the momentum of the dominant victory.

"We really came out strong today. We  wanted to win and use this as spring board for the season," Pumaren said.

"We played good defense. We have to keep up the intensity and we challenged them (UP) and made them work for every basket," he added.

The Warriors implemented an unforgiving full-court press from the get-go that shackled UP's confidence and turned the game into a blowout. The Recto-based squad capped the onslaught with a nasty alley-oop slam from star guard Roi Sumang to Moustaph Arafat at the 1:53 mark to extend the lead, 64-33.

"Sinusunod namin sistema ni coach. At sa practice talaga sabi ni coach na kung ano ginagawa namin yun yung lalabas sa laro," said Alberto, who also drilled a buzzer-beating triple to end the opening quarter with UE ahead 19-16.

"Yung natutunan talaga namin from coach yung defense talaga. Defense is our number one offense," he added.

UE started the carnage in the second quarter with a barrage of 3-pointers and never looked back, mounting a 45-26 upperhand by halftime.

UP, for its part, looked helpless as the Maroons were dominated on all facets of the game. UE had a 54-28 scoring advantage inside the paint and outrebounded UP, 58-29.

Kyles Lao topscored for the Maroons with 18 points while Dave Moralded added 11.

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UAAP Season 77 kicks off at Smart Araneta
ADMU Blue Eagles 11 3
FEU Tamaraws 11 4
DLSU Green Archers 10 5
NU Bulldogs 10 5
UE Red Warriors 9 6
UST Growling Tigers 5 9
UP Maroons 1 13
AdU Falcons 1 13


Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014 @ Smart Araneta Coliseum
3:00 PM - Men's Finals Game 2