The Games that Play Us: The Gods Must Be Crazy

Biboy Enguio played the game of his life
against the Bulldogs.
(image by Justin de Jesus/

UE Red Warriors over the NU Bulldogs, 72-71

I had to watch the replay for this one. I was on the road listening to DZSR’s coverage of the UAAP Games when Boom Gonzales, after Adamson frustrated DLSU in the second game, summarized the afternoon and mentioned that UE upset the Bulldogs.

No way.

No effin’ way.

But it happened, and, no, not in Jerry Codiñera’s wildest dreams, but in the Smart Dome – in reality!

The gods must be crazy!!!

So I had to take a moment to wrap my head around the whole thing – how could a team that bested the hottest squad in the league last week, a team that, on paper at least, was good enough to beat the top teams in the UAAP, get their behinds handed to them by an erstwhile winless group that lost by an average of 18.5 points in the last 6 games?

Impossible, right?

Paul Zamar and Jerry Codiñera just did what many
thought was impossible.
(image by Justin de Jesus/
Which is why this win by UE makes things even more topsy-turvy than they already are in Season 74.

And who should be given medals for this momentous triumph?

Take your pick:

Paul Zamar is a good candidate. He scored 20 points, hit 2 triples, had 5 boards, 1 assist and 1 steal. He played well all-around and was the main reason UE stuck to NU in the 2nd and 3rd stanzas.

Give Biboy Enguio some props, too. The former Lyceum Pirate hit 11 of his 19 markers in the late stages of the game, ensuring that UE would have a chance at the upset. He played big time in this game, and should see more consistent minutes from coach Jerry Codinera.

Then there’s Adrian Santos. The former UE Pages star managed just 4 points, but those were the last 4 that enabled UE to clinch the improbable win. I’ve always believed this guy was one of the most reliable for the Recto quintet, and he proved it again.

My pick for this game’s best player has to be rookie Roi Sumang. The guard, who has seen his playing time spike and drop without explanation for the past few games, produced a remarkable stat-line: 10 points, 6 dimes, 4 boards, and 2 steals. And this is a guy who, relative to fellow rookies Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Ferrer, did not receive much press space in the preseason. As long as coach Jerry trusts in him enough, Sumang should blossom into a star.

Rookie PG Roi Sumang keyed the win with
outstanding plays in crunchtime.
(image by Justin de Jesus/
So there you have it – the BIGGEST upset so far. And unless UE manages to pull the rug from any of the top four teams, this could be the biggest of the year. I seriously doubt the gods will be crazy enough to grant UE another win, but, hey, we’ll never know, right? At least the Warriors won’t go 0-14 this season.

As for NU? Man, how things quickly change. Missed shots, muffed possessions, and just pure inexperience cost them this sure-win game. Coach Eric Altamirano and the rest of the team will have to do some serious soul-searching to be able to make a good run at the now-improbable Final Four.

Parks and Mbe losing to Zamar and Enguio? The gods are allowed to be crazy sometimes, eh?

UE 72 – Zamar 20, Enguio 19, Sumang 10, Noble 9, Javier 4, Santos 4, Duran 2, Flores 2, Sumido 2, Tagarda 0
NU 71 – Parks 23, Ignacio 16, Mbe 13, Labing-isa 7, Celiz 6, Alolino 2, Khobuntin 2, Singh 2, Neypes 0, Terso 0, Villamor 0
QS: 18-26, 41-41, 54-54, 72-71

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