UAAP: ‘Learning, maturing’ UE finds consolation in loss to La Salle

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UE assistant coach Jamike Jarin. UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — University of the East remained winless in 10 games and bombed out of the Final Four contention in the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament. 

But deputy coach Jamike Jarin was proud to see the Red Warriors unleashing their best game of the season before falling short to the La Salle Green Archers, 85-82, in overtime on Thursday at Mall of Asia Arena.

“We’re proud of our boys. We fought tooth and nail against La Salle, so I’m happy for the boys they are learning, they’re maturing,” said Jarin, who is calling the shots in lieu of head coach Jack Santiago.

“And a little more games like this, we could be probably a better team after the season. These are the things that we need,” he added.

UE put up a gallant stand as Harvey Pagsanjan unleashed his season-best 23 points on top of 10 rebounds as the troika of Kyle and Nico Paranada and Jeremy Cruz fired three triples each of their team’s 12 three-pointers.

The Red Warriors took control of the first three quarters after they shot 43-percent from the field and held the Green Archers to a poor shooting of 33-percent. They pushed their foes to their limits until the final second of regulation, where Allan Beltran scored a buzzer-beater hook shot to force overtime.

UE's Harvey Pagsanjan. UAAP PHOTO

UE’s Harvey Pagsanjan. UAAP PHOTO

However, La Salle displayed grace under pressure in overtime with Mark Nonoy’s clutch basket. For Jarin, the rebounding of Michael Phillips and Justine Baltazar, who combined for the 48 of their team’s 68 boards, spelled the difference.

“We played really well but we just got outrebounded so it was a tough loss for us. Good game,” he said after his team only grabbed 41 rebounds and allowed La Salle to collect 39 offensive boards that led to 36 second chance points.

Despite the loss, Jarin lauded the collective effort of his wards, who played selfless basketball.

“Right now I’m happy with everybody, not just Harvey, because what we preach is sacrifices in being selfless. We adapt to that culture,” he said. “We have a 15-man lineup who are not really used to playing. So right now the experience that we’re getting they’re just gonna be better players in the future.”

Jarin admitted it was difficult for his team to play without Santiago for the past six games, even after he served the two-game suspension  from the incident involving his alleged remarks against Ricci Rivero in their first round clash with University of the Philippines.

That’s why they dedicate every game to their head coach, hoping he’ll be back against Adamson on Saturday.

“Every game we dedicate all our games to coach Jack because we’re in a situation right now that we actually weren’t ready. It’s a tough situation especially for the boys, especially for coach Jack. My heart goes out for him and we’re all in an awkward situation,” Jarin said. 

“We just continue to stay positive and hopefully next game for the coming games, coach Jack will be on the sidelines, being the head coach.”

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