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Malick Diouf driven by desire for title in culminating season: Eyes championship

Malick Diouf wants to go out on a high in his final player year for University of the Philippines.

Diouf produced 12 points, 16 rebounds, three steals, and three rebounds against the Ateneo Blue Eagles, and is off to his third straight finals after UP’s 57-46 win over Ateneo Saturday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

“This is my last playing year. It’s really special for me. I need to finish this with something good,” the 6-foot-11 big man said.

“We have a common goal, so finishing with the trophy would be good and great for me. And I think we can do it.”

All season long, the 20-year-old Senegalese big man has always shut down talk about his potential crowning as the UAAP Season 86 Most Valuable Player Award.

Even after he put up a strong showing against the Blue Eagles, he insisted that he remains a small component of the Fighting Maroons machine.

UP was simply methodical against Ateneo throughout the game. It was a fitting way for the Fighting Maroons to end their series against the Blue Eagles.

And for it to be this methodical, everyone from the Fighting Maroons had to chip in.

UAAP86-MBB-Malick-Diouf-0895 Malick Diouf driven by desire for title in culminating season: Eyes championship Basketball News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

“For me, it’s a team effort. It was not only me.

“Everybody was working hard. We prepared well for Ateneo. I’m really happy right now. We’re going to the finals which makes me really happy,” said the UAAP Season 84 Finals MVP.

For UP to win a second championship in three seasons, it now has to overcome one of the De La Salle Green Archers or the NU Bulldogs, which are both facing off as of publishing.

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Whoever wins, it promises to be a tough match-up for the Fighting Maroons.

Ultimately, for Diouf and his teammates to prevail in the end, they will need to work doubly as hard to make it through the finish line.

Whoever we face in the finals, those are obviously two talented offensive teams,” said UP deputy coach Christian Luanzon. “Coach Gold(win Monteverde) says it’s always a process. It’s never about the result.

“For us, this is just part of the process. After tonight, we’re gonna watch film and we’re gonna try to clean up some things that we do offensively in terms of how we could efficiently make baskets and continue on the defensive end.”

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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