UP dethrones Ateneo, clinches UAAP basketball crown | Inquirer Sports
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UP dethrones Ateneo, clinches UAAP basketball crown

/ 08:39 PM May 13, 2022
The UP Fighting Maroons lift the UAAP trophy after clinching the men's basketball championship. UAAP PHOTO

The UP Fighting Maroons lift the UAAP trophy after clinching the men’s basketball championship. UAAP PHOTO

University of the Philippines won its long-awaited championship the way it played all the way to the UAAP Finals—with poise on both ends.

The Fighting Maroons made the Blue Eagles labor for their shots while they hit the ones that mattered to fashion out a thrilling 72-69 Game 3 overtime victory Friday night at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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UP knocked the mighty Blue Eagles off their lofty perch two games to one and put an end to an odyssey that had spanned 36 years.

JD Cagulangan typified the Fighting Maroons’ steely nerves in the most critical juncture of the contest, hitting a tough fadeaway and then an audacious step-back triple to seal the victory.

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The diminutive guard preserved the heroics of import Malick Diouf who tied the game at 69-all with a thunderous, two-handed slam before plucking down a key rebound that led to the game-winner.

The former Centro Escolar standout finished with 17 points, nine rebounds, and three steals and was adjudged as the Finals Most Valuable Player.

Friday night’s triumph delivered State U’s first crown since 1986—only the school’s third alongside the one won in 1939, which was shared with Far Eastern U and University of Santo Tomas.

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Also coming through for the Fighting Maroons was CJ Cansino, who played his first game in the series after being shelved by a knee injury.

A transferree himself, Cansino turned in 14 points to go with Cagulangan’s 13. Ricci Rivero tossed in nine more to go with Harold Alarcon’s eight, Carl Tamayo’s six, and James Spencer’s three that helped capped the UP’s improbable conquest of Ateneo, which has been the tournament’s undisputed ruler for three straight seasons.

SJ Belangel led the way for the Blue Eagles with 27 points. Ange Kouame added 12 more spiked with 12 rebounds, while pro-bound Gian Mamuyac 10 and six.

The Scores:

UP 72 — Diouf 17, Cansino 14, Cagulangan 13, Rivero 9, Alarcon 8, Tamayo 6, Spencer 3, Lucero 0, Abadiano 0, Fortea 0.

ATENEO 69 — Belangel 27, Kouame 12, Mamuyac 10, Koon 6, Verano 5, Ildefonso 2, Tio 2, Andrade 0, Daves 0, Chiu 0.

Quarters: 17-11, 31-27, 46-47, 59-59, 72-69.

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TAGS: Ateneo Blue Eagles, UAAP, UAAP basketball, UP Fighting Maroons
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