Even it was a non-bearing game after the season’s 73rd Final Four crew has been completed and the UE Red Warriors officially out of the race. The Red Warriors still treated the game seriously after they spoiled the Green Archers’ hopes to get an extra edge to clinch a twice-to-beat advantage.
Coach Lawrence Chongson dignity the Red Warriors former head mentor and current head coach of DLSU Green Archers Dindo Pumaren by putting his former players Paul Zamar, JM Noble, Erwin Duran, Raffy Reyes, and James Martinez as his starting five. But, the DLSU squad was just too determined to get that big win and immediately attack the board with Popot Paredes and Joshua Webb leading the offense. Paul Lee and Lucas Tagarda were sent inside the court to complete the cast of “UE’s Dindo boys” to command the play for the Red Warriors. Throughout the 1st half the Red Warriors were just doing the trailing game and completely took the advantage of the “Pumaren press” by getting the Green Archers in early foul troubles to get the points thru the free throw line to stay close. And, in the last few seconds, Paul Lee got the ball against a rookie DLSU guard to finally close the 1st half in deadlock at 40-all.
With momentum on the side of “UE’s Dindo boys” they continue an onslaught to finally took over the lead and the game went neck-to-neck to end the 3rd quarter again in deadlock at 56-all. In the final quarter, the Red Warriors finally breaks away with a 9-0 run which first sparked by Paul Lee who commanded the scoring for the Red Warriors after a low performance from Kenneth Acibar, he finished the game with 19 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Together with two graduating UE guards, captian James Martinez and energy-guard Raffy Reyes chipped in 13 and 17 points, respectively. With a 7 points advantage in the dying seconds, the Red Warriors made some crucial mistakes especially when they allowed Sam Marata to make a three point shoot to cut down the lead to 77-74, but another “UE Dindo boy” Lucas Tagarda steal the ball and take the game in the free throw line where the Red Warriors totally exploited when they converted 23 out of 26 free throw shoots and ended the game, 80-74. The Red Warriors’ improved their record at 5-8 and hoping to end the elimination in 6th place.
UE (80) – Lee 19, Reyes 17, Martinez 13, Zamar 9, Duran 7, Tagarda 6, Acibar 4, Noble 3, Rosopa 2, Casajeros 0, Hernandez 0, Santos 0.
DLSU (74) – Webb 14, Dela Paz 13, Paredes 10, Andrada 7, Atkins 6, Elorde 5, Mendoza 5, Villanueva 5, Tampus 4, Marata 3, Tolentino 2, Ferdinand 0, Reyes 0, Vosotros 0.
Quarter scores: 20-25; 40-40; 56-56; 80-74