UAAP: Malick Diouf vows redemption for UP
MANILA, Philippines — Malick Diouf is determined to run it back with University of the Philippines after failing to defend their throne and stop Ateneo return to the top in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament.
The reigning season MVP was limited to just seven points but had 19 rebounds and four blocks as UP fell to Ateneo in a winner-take-all Game 3, 75-68, and missed the chance to win a second title in one year on Monday in front of 21,814 fans at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Diouf couldn’t hide his frustration after the Blue Eagles came back in the series, which started when he was in foul trouble in Game 2 allowing Ateneo to equalize the championship round.
“Honestly, I feel sad,” said Diouf, who was the Season 84 Finals MVP when UP ended its 36-year-title drought on JD Cagulangan’s epic game-winning three last May.
The Senegalese center was devastated but he remained proud of the Fighting Maroons, who managed to avert a slow first half but still fell short down the stretch.
“I feel really sad, but that’s life. We played and we fought until the end, but God has other plans so we just have to live like that and bounce back,” he said.
Diouf ended his conversation with reporters with a smile, expressing his eagerness to redeem himself and the Fighting Maroons next year.
“We have to get our revenge,” Diouf said. “We still have a lot of recruits. I think we can expect a lot come Season 86.”