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Diouf starts to pick it up ahead of showdown with ex-CEU mentor


Senegalese big man Maodo Malick Diouf finally demonstrated why he is such a prized recruit for University of the Philippines in its quest to win a first championship since 1986.

In 26:26 minutes of action in UP’s 73-71 victory over Adamson University – Tuesday afternoon, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City – the former Centro Escolar University standout produced 16 points. Moreover, he had 15 rebounds, three steals, one block, and one assist.

“We were struggling in the first quarter, but we caught up,” said Diouf. He referenced UP falling to a 13-22 hole after the primary 10 minutes of the contest.

“We have a lot of things to fix, and I think we can come back strong (in the) next game.”

The 6-foot-11 center’s emergence for the Fighting Maroons this afternoon came at a good time. He was up against Adamson’s Lenda Douanga, who produced his own double-double of 16 points and 14 rebounds.

After below-par showings against National University and University of the East – which averaged 5.5 points and 5.5 rebounds – it was a welcome respite for UP to see him play this well.

De La Salle University is up next, parading the emerging Michael Phillips and Gilas standout Justine Baltazar. And the onus is on Diouf to show his abilities against one of the league’s top frontlines.

UAAP-84-MBB-UP-vs.-ADU-Malick-Diouf-4439 Diouf starts to pick it up ahead of showdown with ex-CEU mentor Basketball News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

“Very high energy niya especially starting yung last game namin. Maganda yung pickup niya,” commented his coach Goldwin Monteverde.

“Now, he’s being consistent at both ends. He’s really working hard on defense also. Ang laking factor niya sa team.”

The La Salle game will be a special occasion for Diouf, since it is the first time he will face his former mentor Derrick Pumaren. The duo enjoyed a successful stint together in CEU, most notably that 2019 PBA D-League finals run. There, they defied the odds amidst the match-fixing scandal with some members of the team.

#ReadMore  UAAP 84: Belen powers young NU to sweep of Adamson

Obviously, there will be no sentimental feelings on both sides as their teams share identical 4-1 win-loss records after five fixtures this season.

UAAP-84-Mens-Basketball-DLSU-vs-ADMU-Derrick-Pumaren-scaled Diouf starts to pick it up ahead of showdown with ex-CEU mentor Basketball News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

“We will just play five-on-five so we’ll make sure to play as a team and go get the win. I’m excited to face Coach Derrick.”

All UAAP games stream live on GigaPlay presented by Yamaha. Download it now on Android or IOS.SMART-x-Yamaha Diouf starts to pick it up ahead of showdown with ex-CEU mentor Basketball News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

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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