UP center Malick Diouf. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines — Malick Diouf stood the tallest with his monstrous numbers as defending champion University of the Philippines clinched a Final Four berth and stretched its winning streak to six games in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament.
In a three-game stretch, Diouf set his career-high in scoring twice, helping the Fighting Maroons improve to a league-leading 9-1 record.
Against University of the East on Saturday, the UAAP Season 84 Finals MVP posted 23 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, three steals, and two blocks to lead an 83-69 drubbing of the Red Warriors.
Diouf also dominated in UP’s 91-70 win over Adamson on Wednesday where the Senegalese center scored 20 points on an efficient 10-of-13 shooting from the field, including 7-of-7 in the first half.
The 6-foot-11 Diouf averaged 16 points, 10.3 boards, three assists, one steal, and 1.6 blocks in the past three games as he further established his stature as one of the best big men in the collegiate ranks today.
Despite his impressive three-game run, Diouf has no plans of letting up even with the UAAP going on a 12-day Fiba break.
“Break? I don’t think we’re going to have a break. We’re going to practice every day. But, for now, we just have to focus on the next games. Like, be ready,” said Diouf, who was named Collegiate Press Corps UAAP Player of the Week, presented by the Philippine Sports Commission, from October 30-November 5.
Diouf bested Zavier Lucero, NU’s Jolo Manansala, FEU’s Bryan Sajonia, Adamson’s Cedrick Manzano, and Ateneo’s Ange Kouame for the weekly honor deliberated upon by print and online media covering the league.