UAAP: Francis Lopez paces UP in ending NU's unbeaten run | Inquirer Sports

UAAP: Francis Lopez paces UP in ending NU’s unbeaten run

/ 04:56 PM October 07, 2023

UP's Francis Lopez soars for a dunk against NU in the UAAP Season 86 men's basketball tournament

UP’s Francis Lopez soars for a dunk against NU in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — Francis Lopez led the balanced attack as University of the Philippines stayed unbeaten in three games after handing the first defeat of National University, 78-60, in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Lopez unleashed his best game yet as a Fighting Maroon with 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals, and a block, capping UP’s 18-6 run to end the game.


“Honestly, I don’t mind the stats, what matters is the team. I wanna give big credit to the team and I hope we can compete at that [level] and we can continue to defend. Most of the teams here are tough so we got to give our best in the remaining games,” said the first-year Lopez, who was a plus 34 in the game.


UP pulled away in the third quarter with a 21-9 blast capped by CJ Cansino’s three free hrows for a 58-45 margin.

The Bulldogs trimmed it down to six, 60-54, after a 9-2 run with 7:39 left, but the Maroons kept them at bay as Cansino restored the order with a triple to end an 11-3 run, 71-57, in the final four minutes of the game.

Francis Lopez and the UP Fighting Maroons in the UAAP Season 86

Francis Lopez and the UP Fighting Maroons in the UAAP Season 86. –MARLO CUETO/

“It was a defensive game in the first half.  We can’t afford to relax, even off the ball, with a team like NU. I believe we took care of that earlier and this is a good win for us in terms of the growth of the team,” said UP coach Goldwin Monteverde. “We’re really happy for this team, we have to keep leveled, this is just the third game of the season. So, we just have to keep on improving.”

Cansino finished with 12 points. Reigning MVP Malick Diouf posted his third straight double-double with 12 points, 13 rebounds, and a block. Harold Alarcon chipped in 10 points. JD Cagulangan, Reyland Torres, and Gerry Abadiano added eight markers each with the former tallying six rebounds and five assists.

The Bulldogs dropped to a 2-1 record with Jake Figueroa leading the way with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Omar John had 11 points, while PJ Palacielo added 10 markers and six boards.

UP eyes its fourth win against Far Eastern University on Wednesday, 11 a.m., at Mall of Asia Arena, while NU tries to regain its winning ways against the University of Santo Tomas at 3 p.m.


UP coach Goldwin Monteverde, Francis Lopez, and Reyland Torres after staying unbeaten in three games. #UAAPSeason86

Posted by Inquirer Sports on Saturday, October 7, 2023

The scores:

UP (78) – Lopez 14, Diouf 12, Cansino 12, Alarcon 10, Cagulangan 8, Torres 8, Abadiano 8, Felicilda 3, Pablo 2, Belmonte 1, Torculas 0, Alter 0, Gagate 0, Gonzales 0.

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NU (60) – Figueroa 13, John 11, Palacielo 10, Baclaan 9, Yu 5, Malonzo 5, Jumamoy 4, Lim 2, Enriquez 1, Padrones 0, Manansala 0, Casinillo 0.

Quarterscores: 9-13, 30-25, 58-45, 78-60

TAGS: NU Bulldogs, UAAP Season 86, UP Fighting Maroons

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