This appears in the abs-cbn website.
by rick olivares
Kevin Ferrer got the ball outside the three-point line. He faked a trey attempt that got his guard up in the air. Ferrer drove, drew the defense and spotted a cutting Aljon Mariano for a lookaway dish. That made the score 13-8 for the UST Growling Tigers. Previous to Ferrer’s drop, UE’s Ian Carlo Valdez put on the same moves on his guard except this time he attacked from the baseline. UST center Karim Abdul extended and Valdez had to loft a floater high above the onrushing center. The ball clanged off the rim but UE teammate John Sumido grabbed the offensive board and went up for a shot.
Only his undergoal stab missed!
The two sequences encapsulated the entire match between UST that is skyrocketing up the UAAP standings while UE looks to battle out UP once more for the right to stay out of the league cellar.
Curiously, UE’s leading scorer, Roi Sumang only played four minutes in the first quarter that the Tigers took 15-11. And the Red Warrior’s leading scorer (averaging 16.8 points in the first four matches) was not reinserted into the match until well under four minutes and the score now at 32-16 for UST. The score had doubled.
So did UE’s rotation. Red Warriors’ head coach Jerry Codinera played 12 and 14 men respectively in an effort to find the right combination whereas UST counterpart Pido Jarencio fielded 10 and 11 for the first two periods.
How lost was UE?
At the 4:37 mark, Abdul swished a 15-foot jump shot with UE reserve forward-center Paul Meña all over him. Abdul grinned of a man having a ball while Meña looked at Codinera; 29-16, UST.
One play later, Tiger reserve forward Ed Daquioag hit a trey all over UE’s Jai Flores. The Red Warrior looked at Codinera; 32-16, UST.
Two plays later, Daquioag blew past Chris Javier for an and-one and the latter looked at his coach; 35-18, UST.
Codinera called for a timeout and hoped he could provide answers for his befuddled players. A UE supporter who sat behind the bench yelled at the players, “Wala kayong pride!” Warriors Jeric Hernandez and Carlo Duncil looked at the lady who was unperturbed.
There was no chemistry whatsoever. No sense of brotherhood or team play. As the players went in and out of the match like they were playing musical chairs, it was only Flores who received some low fives from his teammates. The rest… well they sat down on the bench or tried to until Adrian Santos evicted them from the seat.
The score at the half was 41-23 for UST. The game was slipping away.
The only thing UE seemed to win was the battle from the stands where their gallery outcheered UST’s despite the lopsided score.
But those were the students who in spite of being required to watch the game for their PE class cheered their hearts out at every basket and every stop.
As for some of the UE alumni?
At the resumption of hostilities following the halftime break, UST forward Louie Vigil scored back-to-back baskets including one that forced UE center Sam Razon to back pedal and hurt his knee. Following Vigil’s knee breaker on Razon, two UE alumni seated at the patron section threw up their arms and left without so much as looking back.
The Red Warriors tried to make a game of it in the second half as Sumang made like LeBron James when he was with the Cleveland Cavaliers. His final stat line: 13 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 3 turnovers in only 24 minutes.
The Warriors made an effort in the last quarter. But the deficit was simply too big and the Tigers too good that UST coasted to its fourth straight win for a 4-1 record.
The Warriors? Well, they remain winless.
UE has put on the hardcourt some of the most talented teams in recent memory. Their line-ups eventually begat some terrific PBA talent: James Yap, KG Canaleta, Paul Artadi, Ronald Tubid, Mark Borboran, Paul Lee, and Elmer Espiritu to name a few.
Their teams made two UAAP Finals – 2007 and 2009 – but each time they were swept by their opponents. In the last two seasons, they’ve been at the bottom of the standings.
Chris Javier, the team’s second leading scorer (and one of two in double figures scoring with Sumang) with a 11.0 average, has lost more games in his first two years with UE than his entire career with San Beda when he was in high school. In four of Codinera’s years in college, he played for the UAAP Men’s Basketball championship four times. He won his first two then conceded the latter two in his last years with UE.
When asked what’s wrong, he grinned although it was a pained one. “Marami.” And he walked rather forlornly to the parking lot following an 85-69 beating.