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Pumaren finds UE's season a great journey

Despite missing out on the Final Four, the UE Red Warriors had a great UAAP
season according to Coach Derrick Pumaren. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

UE Red Warriors coach Derrick Pumaren found their season a great ride despite missing out on the Final Four.

Asked by Dugout on his thoughts for the entire Red Warriors season, Pumaren said, "It was a great journey."

He added, "In spite and despite of the things that happened, we managed to stay together. We were able to make that run where we almost made it to the next round."

He, who joined UE just a few days before the FilOil Cup, particularly cited the second round run where he thought the team finally adjusted to his system.

On the other hand, he also told Dugout that the last Red Warriors play was designed for Bong Galanza.

"I think we were able to execute it. Bong was just not able to make the shot," Pumaren thought of the play, where Galanza missed a wide-open three-pointer at the final buzzer to let the NU Bulldogs escape with a hard-fought 51-49 victory.

In a separate interview, the graduating Galanza, who broke into tears after missing the game-winner, said, "Kinomfort nila (his teammates) ako [after the game] at in-encourage ako, 'Hindi pa naman tapos ito. May next chapter ka pa. Hindi pa naman ito ang huli.'"

Pumaren, however, also said that the Galanza miss was not the only reason UE lost the rubber match for the last Final Four berth.

"We have to look at the overall picture of the game. We missed a lot of free throws, especially down the stretch. That's what we keep telling them--that we need to work on our free throws," he cited.

The Red Warriors muffed five of their last six charities in the game and ten of 18 overall.

Roi Sumang, a steady free throw shooter, only made 2-of-5 from the line.

Pumaren, however, later said that they will look at the positive things they obtained this season.

He also hopes that they carry it to the next season.

Pumaren also said that his team will return to practice after two weeks for the PCCL.
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