Warriors Tame Tigers
by JP Abcede
Diminutive James Martinez played big in the game of giants, needling two three-point shots to take control of what was once a nip and tuck contest, 65-54, at the 2:51 mark of the fourth quarter. Martinez later gave the Red Warriors the highest lead, 73-58, from a breakaway layup.
“Big shot iyong back-to-back three points ni Martinez,” admitted UE coach Dindo Pumaren.
Mark Borboran played well with 13 points and 5/5 at the two-point field. Martinez was good for 12. Hans Thiele was the other double-digit scorer for UE with 11.
“I am very happy they played well, especially the five guys that played in the PBL,” praised the younger Pumaren.
Jervy Cruz pounded with 16 points on 7/9 shooting, while hauling nine rebounds. Japs Cuan had a near double-double with 13 and nine, going along with four assists.
“You have to realize UST may problema,” Pumaren said although he added that the Tigers find a way to bounce back.
The Warriors attacked first with Martinez turning it into a plus-five spread when he popped for a teardrop, 17-12. Cruz shook off a knee injury to score UST’s last four points of the first quarter.
The Growling Tigers were just a few steps behind with the Recto-based squad leading the charge most of the way. The former was able to make things equal in two occasions, 17-all to kickoff the second quarter and 43-all from a Cuan split on the line, 1:11 in the third.
East led as much as six on an Arellano jumper off a pump fake to end the half and when Borboran made at the line from a Cruz foul, 37-31, 7:23 of the third.
Fhadzmir Bandaying turned it into a nine-point game with a lay, 54-45, right at the eight minute mark. Cuan then started to take over, driving the lane for three straight possessions, accumulating six points to go near to three, 51-54.
The veteran Warriors took over as Borboran made five points, three of them coming from beyond the arc from an Arellano drive and dish. Martinez then sandwiched a Chester Taylor freethrow with his only three-pointers of the game. UE then scored off three assist plays to lead, 71-58, 1:02 to go.
“NU played well last time,” Pumaren looked ahead into their next games against National University. “Maganda nilaro ni (Joseph) Lingao-Lingao.”
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