UAAP Finals: UP optimistic after dropping Game 2 anew | Inquirer Sports

UAAP Finals: UP optimistic after dropping Game 2 anew

/ 11:27 PM December 03, 2023

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Michael Phillips La Salle UAAP

La Salle’s Michael Phillips and UP’s Luis Pablo fight for the ball during Game 2 of the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball Finals.–MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines—The streak continues for University of the Philippines, which is now 0-4 in Finals Game 2s in the Final Four era.

The Fighting Maroons on Sunday failed to close out the Green Archers, who forced a rubber match following an 82-60 victory on Sunday.

Call it a curse or what but for UP center Luis Pablo, the Fighting Maroons, who are 0-3 in Game 2s for the past three seasons, just weren’t able to play true to their form unlike in Game 1 where they won by 30.


“For us, we don’t even think about that curse or something like that because in all honesty, our work will show if we wanted it more or not. In this game, we just didn’t have it so we’ll just bounce back in the next game and we’ll prepare for it,” Pablo said in Filipino.


La Salle guard Evan Nelle also summed it up to the Green Archers just having a stronger desire to win.

“I don’t believe in that stuff. I don’t think it’s a curse. We just wanted it more today,” said Nelle, who finished with a double-double of 12 rebounds and 10 assists with five steals to compensate for his poor shooting.

Luis Pablo UP UAAP Finals

UP center Luis Pablo.–MARLO CUETO/

Despite the defeat, Pablo remained optimistic about the Maroons’ chances in the rubber match.

“It’s a tough loss but somehow we’re still keeping our heads up because this isn’t done yet. No one’s a champion yet and there’s still one more game left and maybe this is just a test from God on how we’ll help each other in the final game,” said Pablo.

“I’m confident in our capabilities as a team and we’ll start tomorrow right away in practice while reflecting on our shortcomings,” he added.

In last season’s finals, UP also won the finals opener against Ateneo but went on to yield the championship after losing Games 2 and 3.

Game 3 is on Wednesday at Araneta Coliseum.

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

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