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Fitch Arboleda hopes UE’s second round meltdown serves as wake-up call for support

Just when it looked like the University of the East would finally break into the Final Four of the UAAP Season 85 Men’s Football Tournament, a disastrous second round ended its dreams of competing in the postseason.

The Red Warriors started their campaign brightly with a remarkable 5-1 win over De La Salle University. They then topped the table at the end of the first round with 12 points, thanks to three wins and three draws.

Many neutrals were hoping that UE’s great first round would finally bring them to the promised land because of their underdog story. However, similar to previous seasons, it just was not meant to be as the Red Warriors only managed to gain four more points in the second round.

“Sayang. Sayang ‘yung term ko para sa season namin ngayon. We had a lot of chances para makapasok sa Final Four. Nasayang ‘yung effort na binigay namin. Although may mga factors nga like in the second round, most of the teams adjusted sa mga plays namin,” said coach Fitch Arboleda.

“If you notice, hindi na namin nagagawa ‘yung counterattack na ginagawa namin kagaya nung first round. Well, it’s part of the game, part ng season kasi very, very long nga siya,” he added.

“Tapos may mga factors din like lumabas ‘yung technique namin sa second round kasi wala kaming field. Kitang-kita sa mga players na ‘yung decision making namin, hindi pa siya ganun kalinis kasi nga hindi namin nagagawa sa tamang field.”

Things went downhill in the second round. Despite enjoying a come-from-behind victory against UP — Arboleda’s first win over the Fighting Maroons in his tenure — UE failed to pick up the momentum needed to seal the deal.

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The Red Warriors were second in the standings with 15 points during that period. After the Holy Week break that ranged from April 3-12, 2013, they returned to action and suffered an 8-0 defeat at the hands of Far Eastern University.

UE further lost to the University of Santo Tomas and Ateneo de Manila University soon after. The Recto school then drew 0-0 against cellar-dweller Adamson University, killing off any hopes they had of making it into the top four.UAAP-85-Mens-Football-Fitch-Arboleda-UE.JPG Fitch Arboleda hopes UE's second round meltdown serves as wake-up call for support Football News UAAP UE  - philippine sports news

“Well, number one ‘yung Holy Week. Since wala kaming facility dahil closed ‘yung school, so that’s number one. And then sobrang nag-adjust ‘yung mga coaches, ‘yung mga teams against sa amin,” he said.

“Imagine you’re playing against champion coaches, veteran coaches — for sure makikita nila ‘yung weakness namin. So ayan nga, lumabas talaga siya.”

Arboleda can only lament how he and his team failed to make it once again. It is the second time the Red Warriors finished a point behind the top four spots.

Back in Season 80, UE ended the campaign with 19 points, just a point behind fourth-placed La Salle. This was a massive improvement from his debut season the previous year, which saw them finish in seventh place with 14 points, seven points behind the top four.

For Season 85, the Red Warriors earned 16 points, just a point away from the current fourth seed UST. This is a big turnaround from their Season 81 campaign, where they only clinched nine points and ended up in eighth place. Clearly, the possibility of achieving great things is there with UE. Arboleda and his team just need more help to cross the finish line.

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“Yung 16 points, hindi siya basta-basta. Yun nga lang, sayang lang siya. I mean sana wake up call na rin talaga sa school na hoping na yun nga matulungan talaga kami kasi may potential yung team,” he said.

Hindi lang siya talaga ganun yung supprot sa amin so hoping na mabigyan kami ng mas magandang suporta for next season like (more) coaches, field rentals so sana madagdagan. So wala, lugi talaga kami sa long season na ganito.”

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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