UAAP Finals: La Salle fights back vs UP, forces title decider | Inquirer Sports

UAAP Finals: La Salle fights back vs UP, forces title decider

/ 06:43 PM December 03, 2023

UAAP Finals La Salle vs UP Game 2

LA Salle celebrates during Game 2 of the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball Finals against UP on Sunday.–MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — La Salle came out firing in the second half to spoil University of the Philippines’ celebration plans and force a winner-take-all game with a vengeful 82-60 victory in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament on Sunday in front of 20,863 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Licking the wounds of their 97-67 defeat in Game 1, the Green Archers lived up to their promise to fight back and equalize the series as they came out strong in the second half, especially in the payoff period where they tallied a 20-point lead off a JC Macalalag’s triple,  71-51, at the seven-minute mark and never looked back.


In Kevin Quiambao’s coronation as the first local UAAP MVP in eight years, his teammates Joshua David and Francis Escandor stepped up when it mattered most to give themselves a shot to win La Salle’s first title since 2016 and 10th championship overall.


Escandor was a revelation for the Green Archers with a game-high 14 points including the dagger three in the final seconds of the game, while David provided the spark from the bench with 12 points on 4-of-6 three-point shooting,

CJ Austria was also instrumental with 11 points and five rebounds. Newly-crowned MVP Quiambao delivered nine points, 13 rebounds, and three blocks coming from the bench, while Mike Phillips also tallied nine points and 13 rebounds.

Evan Nelle struggled from the field with four points on 2-of-12 shooting but he had 12 rebounds, 10 assists, and five steals.

La Salle UAAP Finals

La Salle’s Joshua David, Kevin Quiambao and Evan Nelle during Game 2 of the UAAP Finals.–MARLO CUETO/

“I guess we just they just really don’t want to end this finals right away. We just gave, I guess UP a good fight. You know, players really wanted it this afternoon,” said La Salle coach Topex Robinson. “And they just trying to be prepared also for the way it’s going to be. And again, these guys really played lead with their hearts out and they did their job. And I’m happy for them.”

La Salle and UP clash in a rubber match on Wednesday, 6 p.m., at the Big Dome with the latter playing its third Finals decider in a row.

The Green Archers started to pull away in the third as Joshua David drained back-to-back threes to cap a blistering 13-4 run to tally a 65-49 lead heading to the final quarter.


La Salle overcame a 12-2 deficit to start the game as it got its act together in the second quarter, keeping UP without a field goal for 11 minutes and tallying a 10-point lead after Francis Escandor’s triple, 44-34, before CJ Cansino and  Harold Alarcon ended the scoring drought with back-to-back baskets to trim the deficit to six heading to the break.

The Fighting Maroons shot 2-of-13 from the field in the second quarter.

Malick Diouf led UP with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks but fouled out with 3:30 remaining after an offensive foul. CJ  Cansino also scored 11 points, while Harold Alarcon, who scored 21 points in Game 1, was limited to 5-of-16 shooting with 10 points.

Rookie of the Year Francis Lopez, who was a game-time decision due to flu, played and had nine points and 13 rebounds.

The Scores:

DLSU (82) – Escandor 14, David 12, Austria 11, Quiambao 9, M. Phillips 9, Nonoy 8, Macalalag 7, Cortez 6, Nelle 4, B. Phillips 2, Manuel 0, Abadam 0, Policarpio 0.

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UP (60) – Cansino 11, Diouf 11, Alarcon 10, Lopez 9, Cagulangan 6, Felicilda 6, Torculas 4, Abadiano 3, Belmonte 0, Torres 0, Alter 0, Pablo 0, Gonzales 0, Briones 0.     

Quarterscores: 24-27, 44-38, 65-49, 82-60

TAGS: La Salle Green Archers, UAAP Season 86, UP Fighting Maroons

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