The Games that Play Us: King Ping

Ping Exciminiano was the unlikely leading
scorer for the Tamaraws.
(image by Ralph Samson/
FEU Tamaraws over the UE Red Warriors, 66-47

For about one quarter, there was a team in the league worse than the UE Red Warriors. UE scored a paltry 12 in the first quarter, on pace for a way-below-average 48 for the whole game, but FEU fared much worse – scoring just half a dozen.

The Morayta five started sluggishly, with coach Bert Flores trading away speed for size by starting Christian Sentcheu at center, placing Aldrech Ramos at the 4, and designating newbie Russel Escoto as the first big man off the bench. This center-centric tactic backfired as coach Jerry Codiñera’s starting frontcourt led the 1st quarter blitz of UE. Behind the streaking Adrian Santos and Chris Javier, the Recto quintet surprised the Green & Gold by erecting a 6-point lead after the first 10 minutes.

UE's ace, Paul Zamar, couldn't get anything going.
(image by Ralph Samson/
And then in the space of a few minutes, the world righted itself. Behind Ramos, JR Cawaling and Chris Tolomia, coach Flores’s wards ran the Warriors roughshod in the 2nd period to capture the lead and never relinquish it again.

The Tams practically toyed with the Warriors in
the second half.
(image by Diana Moraleda/
The 2nd half saw FEU just toy around with UE, although the Tams themselves weren’t exactly in the sharpest of forms. Proof? I doubt if we’ll ever see the day the TRIO of Ping Exciminiano, Tolomia and Escoto outscore the QUARTET of RR Garcia, Terrence Romeo, Ramos and Cawaling. It was a strange sight, but perhaps it was a case of FEU playing to the level of their foes, or simply a case of FEU being in the twilight zone.

If I were an FEU fan, though, I’d be a little worried. I’d like my team to come back strong after a sound beating from Adamson. And against UE at that! It should be nothing short of a statement game, but this one, despite the final spread, can hardly be classified as such. Unless of course the statement FEU wants to send is, “Ping Exciminiano is the new King Tamaraw.”

King Ping.

Err… I don’t think so.

Lucas Tagarda (right) will probably see more
losses as the season goes on.
(image by Diana Moraleda/
As for UE? They lost to UP and UST by respectable margins last week. In this game, they went up against a seemingly jet-lagged-and-hung-over version of the FEU Tamaraws, and they still managed to lose by 19 – they didn’t even make the projected 48 points! At times the Warriors seemed tentative, at times they seemed to force things, but all the time they seemed lost. I just don’t think there’s a silver lining in the clouds for coach Jerry. UE was just the worst team today.

Who will they face on Saturday? The best team today – Ateneo.

Maybe the Warriors should regularly take painkillers, just to numb all the probable defeats.

FEU 66 - Exciminiano 12, Tolomia 9, Escoto 8, Cawaling 8, Garcia 7, Romeo 7, Ramos 6, Pogoy 5, Cruz 2, Foronda 2, Sentcheu 0, Mendoza 0, Bringas 0, Knuttel 0, Fabian 0
UE 47 - Noble 11, Santos 10, Casajeros 6, Sumang 6, Duran 5, Javier 3, Tagarda 2, Zamar 2, De leon 2, Enguio 0, Flores 0, Sumido 0, Sabangan 0, Zosa 0
QS: 6-12, 30-21, 45-28, 66-47

Former Letran Knight Clarence Foronda
saw some significant playing time against UE.
(image by Ralph Samson/
JR Sumido and the rest of UE played catch-up
after surrendering their lead to the Tams.
(image by Diana Moraleda/

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