MANILA, Philippines – Returning Adamson head coach Kenneth Duremdes rued the Falcons' lack of scoring punch off the bench in their 59-72 setback to the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors in the UAAP Season 77 tournament on Sunday.
The Falcons kept in step with the Red Warriors for three quarters, but ran out of steam in the final period when UE waxed hot from beyond the arc.
Duremdes, who mostly observed from the sidelines and left the coaching duties to assistant Vince Hizon, said their lack of bench production was a stark contrast to UE.
"UE is pressuring and trapping the whole game, and kami, ginagawa din namin. Ang advantage ng UE is marami silang players na pamalit," said Duremdes.
The Adamson coach pointed out that UE can replace guard Roi Sumang with Dan Alberto, and import Charles Mammie with another foreign big man, Moustapha Arafat.
"For us, kapag nilabas mo si (Don) Trollano at si (Jansen) Rios, ang laki ng difference noong talent," Duremdes admitted. "'Yun ang nagiging problema namin. 'Yung talent ng players, malaki ang dip kapag tinanggal namin 'yung starters namin."
UE's bench outscored Adamson's, 32-9, in the game, which proved to be a huge blow as the Falcons' starting five were able to outscore the Red Warriors, 50-40.
"Ang nagke-carry ng load for scoring sa Adamson is 'yung first five players. Up to six, meron. Nakapulot kami ng magandang game for (Dawn) Ochea, but it has to be every game sana," said Duremdes.
Duremdes is looking at the bright side, however, pointing out that they managed to out-rebound UE, 47-41, despite being the smaller team.
"We're happy about that, kasi nakita mo 'yung effort ng mga players. Actually, ahead din kami sa assist. 'Yun nga lang, 'yung scoring, doon kami talo," he said.
"'Yun ang lagi naming problema – how to find a way doon sa scoring department. Ang nakikita lang namin lagi ay 'yung dalawang veteran lang (Trollano and Rios). Today, Ochea stepped up, pero we need that every game para hindi lang naka-focus 'yung defense kay Trollano and Rios," he added.