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Malick Diouf admits early fouls threw him off in Game 2


On the night when Malick Diouf was crowned as the Most Valuable Player of UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament, it showed how important he is to University of the Philippines.

But not in a good way.

The Fighting Maroons fell to Ateneo de Manila University, 65-55, on Wednesday at the jampacked Smart Araneta Coliseum. The loss extends the series to a winner-take-all Game Three.

And the newly-minted MVP barely contributed with two points and 11 rebounds in 16 minutes of floor time. He was also a minus-eight.

Those numbers were a far cry from his 10.79 points, 10.86 rebounds, 2.86 assists, 1.57 blocks, and 1.5 steals to win the top individual plum in the league.

The reason for his subpar showing? Foul trouble.

The 6-foot-11 Senegalese center only played six minutes and 18 seconds in the first half after being assessed two fouls.

UAAP85-MBB-MALICK-DIOUF Malick Diouf admits early fouls threw him off in Game 2 Basketball News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

“In the beginning it was okay but in the second, I got like two easily so we just need to catch up on Monday,” said Diouf.

“Yeah, it really affected my game, the way I was playing. It happens sometimes. We just have to make sure to come back strong.”

He managed to nurse his fouls until the final buzzer, but it was too late. They’d already affected his rhythm.

However, his bad performance didn’t have anything to do with awarding jitters. He was formally given the MVP hardware less than an hour before tip-off.

When asked about if the award gave him added pressure in Game Two, the former Centro Escolar University student-athlete had a quick answer.

#ReadMore  Salado, Gumaru lead Arellano past stumbling State U

UAAP85-MBB-Malik-Diouf-James-Spencer-7803505 Malick Diouf admits early fouls threw him off in Game 2 Basketball News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

“No. I always play like the same Malick.”

Game Three, with a possible historic two championships in a year for the Fighting Maroons, will be on Monday, 6:00 PM, at the Big Dome.

And Diouf is still putting all his money into his team. He is confident that UP will be celebrating come Monday night, just like he said in his MVP speech.

“I’m pretty sure we’re gonna win the championship because if we do the right way, we’re going to win,” shared the 23-year-old UP senior.

“I’m pretty sure we’re gonna win the championship because if we do the right way, we’re going to win. We just have to play together, move the ball well, defend, and we’re gonna win the championship.”

Written By

Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.


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