MANILA, Philippines – University of the East (UE) star Alvin Pasaol has no intentions of letting the Red Warriors become the first – and last – victims of University of Santo Tomas (UST) in UAAP Season 80.
Both teams are already out of the running for a spot in the Final Four entering their game on Sunday. However, the “no-bearing” contest still carries plenty of meaning for both the Red Warriors and the Growling Tigers.
For UST, it represents their last chance to avoid the ignominy of a winless season, a first in the history of the proud program. UE, for its part, is determined to end its Season 80 campaign on a high note, and avoid being the only team to lose to the Growling Tigers this year.
“Siyempre, hindi kami papayag na sa amin sila makakuha ng isang panalo,” said Pasaol, who torched the Growling Tigers for 32 points when they played in the first round – a 96-91 win for the Red Warriors.
“Siyempre, lalaban kami kasi last game namin. Kailangan din namin manalo para nasa winning note kami,” he added.
UE coach Derrick Pumaren stressed the importance of ending the season with a victory, saying: “You’re only as good as your last game, and that’s how you want to end.”
Still, he warned that the Growling Tigers will not simply roll over and hand the win over to the Red Warriors.
“We know that UST is hungry, and they want to get their first win,” Pumaren said. “Even though they are 0-13, they are a lot better than their standing right now… We cannot take them for granted.”
“Stay positive,” he also said. “We are still looking at the last game, and we are still going to prepare. It doesn’t mean na we are out (of the Final Four), hindi na kami magpe-prepare, na we’ll just roll the ball and play.”
“We are still going to play hard, we are still going for the win. That’s what I expect them to do on Sunday.”
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