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UP smothers La Salle in most one-sided UAAP MBB Finals game in 25 years


University of the Philippines moved on the cusp of regaining the UAAP Men’s Basketball crown it lost last season.

What many expected to be a dogfight turned out to be the most lopsided finals game in 25 years.

The Fighting Maroons crushed the De La Salle Green Archers, 97-67, in Game One of the Season 86 best-of-three Finals, Wednesday in front of 17,129 fans at the packed SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The 30-point win of UP was the largest margin of victory in a finals game since 1998 when La Salle romped past Far Eastern University by 25, 72-47, in Season 61.

And defense was the key, according to third-year Fighting Maroons head coach Goldwin Monteverde.

His team limited La Salle’s league-leading offense to just 67 points – down 13.57 points from their average prior to the Final Four. UP also pinned La Salle to just 35 rebounds – down by 12.97 boards from their norms.

UAAP86-MBB-UP-vs-DLSU-MANUEL-PABLO-JOAQUI-MANUEL-JANJAN-FELICILDA-7395 UP smothers La Salle in most one-sided UAAP MBB Finals game in 25 years Basketball DLSU News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

UP also forced La Salle to 18 turnovers, translating them to 24 easy points on the other end. Then the Fighting Maroons held their foes to a woeful 8.7 percent from deep, drilling just two of their 23 attempts.

“Yung team really executed the game plan and defense was really great,” said Monteverde.

His team has won all Game Ones of their three straight Finals appearances, but in the past two seasons, both series went into a deciding Game Three.

“We just have to sustain and know that the Finals will not be won with one game but it’s a series. Dapat we have to know what to work on and be ready for the next game,” furthered Monteverde, who is looking to add a fourth UAAP title to his personal collection.

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Already up by 12 heading into the second half, the Fighting Maroons broke away. Francis Lopez and Harold Alarcon blasted the Green Archers’ defense, combining for 17 points in the canto.

Thanks to their performances, UP established a 77-55 lead entering the fourth.

First-year Green Archers head coach Topex Robinson tried to find a spark on his deep bench to start the fourth. He sent in EJ Gollena, JC Macalalag, and Earl Abadam but to no avail.

UAAP86-MBB-UP-vs-DLSU-HC-TOPEX-ROBINSON-GOLDWIN-MONTEVERDE-7599 UP smothers La Salle in most one-sided UAAP MBB Finals game in 25 years Basketball DLSU News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

“Obviously, UP just showed us why they’re the number one team in the UAAP right now. At this point, we really can’t look for other excuses but to bounce back,” said a disappointed Robinson.

UP will go for the championship on Sunday, 4:00 PM, at the SMART Araneta Coliseum. On the other hand, La Salle will look to force a decider.

The Fighting Maroons are chasing their third crown – or fourth if counting the league’s second season title, which had UP Manila, FEU, and University of Santo Tomas as co-champions.

Alarcon finished with 21 points on 8-of-9 clip from the line, while Lopez ended with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

“Masasabi ko lang hindi pa ito yung pwedeng magsaya. Hindi pa tapos yung laban, siguro after nito mag-focus na kami sa next game,” said Alarcon, a third-year guard out of Silay City.

UAAP86-MBB-UP-vs-DLSU-JD-CAGULANGAN-MIKE-PHILLIPS-7460 UP smothers La Salle in most one-sided UAAP MBB Finals game in 25 years Basketball DLSU News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

Cagulangan chipped 11 points, while Gerry Abadiano got 10 points. Malick Diouf and Aldous Torculas contributed well in points and rebounds, 9-15 and 9-11.

UAAP86-MBB-UP-vs-DLSU-JD-CAGULANGAN-DLSU-7344 UP smothers La Salle in most one-sided UAAP MBB Finals game in 25 years Basketball DLSU News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

Third-year big man Mike Phillips led the Green Archers with 19 points and nine rebounds.

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Kevin Quiambao provided 11 points, six rebounds, and three assists – a far cry from his elimination round averages of 16.71 points, 10.86 rebounds, and 6.0 assists.

The awarding of the individual awards for collegiate basketball – highlighted by the crowning of Quiambao as season Most Valuable Player – will also be on Sunday at 3:00 PM.


The Scores:

UP 97 — Alarcon 21, Lopez 15, Cagulangan 11, Abadiano 10, Torculas 9, Diouf 9, Cansino 5, Belmonte 5, Fortea 5, Felicilda 4, Pablo 3, Briones 0, Torres 0, Alter 0, Gagate 0.

DLSU 67 — M. Phillips 19, Quiambao 11, Nelle 8, Austria 6, Nonoy 5, Cortez 4, Gollena 4, Escandor 3, David 2, Policarpio 2, Abadam 2, Manuel 1, B. Phillips 0, Macalalag 0, Nwankwo 0.

Quarterscores: 28-24, 53-41, 77-55, 97-67

Written By

Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.


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