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Derrick Pumaren urges La Salle to stay positive after demoralizing UP loss

Both Mark Nonoy and Evan Nelle were inconsolable after absorbing a heartbreaking 69-72 loss to the University of the Philippines on Saturday.

The prized transferee from UST missed an open three-pointer in the corner during the final seconds. If he’d made it, he could’ve sent the game to overtime.

Derrick Pumaren could feel for his players after they’d managed to cut UP’s huge lead down to two – only to lose on the final possession.

UAAP-84-Mens-Basketball-UP-vs-DLSU-Mark-Nonoy-2 Derrick Pumaren urges La Salle to stay positive after demoralizing UP loss Basketball DLSU News UAAP  - philippine sports news

“The game is 40 minutes. We can’t just play the game 20 minutes – we can’t just play 10 minutes,” the decorated mentor admitted.

“It’s 40 minutes of basketball, and I don’t think we played them 40 minutes tonight.”

He also pointed out their sluggish performance in the first half. That put them in a deep hole and forced them to play catch up for the remainder of the game.

“Not to take anything away from UP, they really played hard. They outplayed us, they killed us in the first half. We had a lethargic first half and parang we didn’t have a fight. We’re out of sync in the first half,” he said.

The Fighting Maroons led by as many as 16 points during the first 20 minutes of the game. On the other hand, La Salle shot just 28-percent from the field during that stretch.

Both of La Salle’s primary playmakers failed to find their rhythm in the game against the Fighting Maroons.

Nonoy was only held to seven points, five rebounds, and an assist in close to 20 minutes of action. Meanwhile, Nelle scored seven markers on 1-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. He also had four assists, three steals, two rebounds, and a block.

#ReadMore  Dwight Ramos joins Toyama, all set for clash vs Ray Parks

UAAP-84-Mens-Basketball-UP-vs-DLSU-Evan-Nelle-scaled Derrick Pumaren urges La Salle to stay positive after demoralizing UP loss Basketball DLSU News UAAP  - philippine sports news

With the loss, the Green Archers have dropped back to a 7-4 record for the third spot in the standings. Their remaining assignments for the second round of eliminations include FEU, Adamson, and NU.

After losing a crucial assignment against UP, Pumaren is still holding his head high and will look forward to bouncing back and putting in the work to achieve their goal of entering the Final Four.

“Anything is possible but we just have to stay positive.

“We just have to keep working hard and we just got to take care of things on Tuesday. We still are not in the Final Four yet ‘no? We just have to secure the Final Four slot on Tuesday. We just have to work and try to take care of FEU. And the most important thing is to stay positive and how we bounce back,” said Pumaren.

They are hoping to catch up to the Fighting Maroons, who are currently sitting in the second seed with a 9-2 tally. Goldwin Monteverde’s squad will be rounding out their second round campaign with bouts against UE, UST, and Ateneo.

“I know that it’s gonna be a long shot but we’re still there and anything is possible. We just have to take care of things. We still control our destiny — we don’t want other teams to do the dirty jobs for us,” stressed the 1995 PBA Coach of the Year.

“We just have to take care of things.”

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