The University of the East Red Warriors notched its second victory in the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament, edging the National University Bulldogs, 78-72, at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.
Prior to tip-off, the Recto-based squad got one hell of a pep talk from one of its most notable alumnus — PBA superstar and national team mainstay Paul Lee. Lee, who donned UE’s colors from Season 70 to Season 73, left quite an impression to the current UE crop especially to scorer Philip Manalang.
“Alam naman natin sa Paul Lee, pagpasok nya kanina sa dugout, parang tumaas yung morale namin, tapos nagbigay sya ng advice,” Manalang, who finished with a season-high 13 points, seven assists and four boards, said after the contest.
“Pagpasok namin sa loob ng court, nag-iba eh kaya laking tulong yung pagpunta nya ngayon dito. Saka syempre yung experience nya shinare nya rin sa amin, kung ano yung dapat, anong hindi. Kaya marami kaming natutunan ngayon sa kanya.”
UE started the game hot and used a 16-4 advantage early in the first period to gain momentum for the entire game. The team also received quite a boost from Cameroonian slotman Alex Diakhite, who dropped 22 points, 13 rebounds, three steals, three blocks, and two assists.