La Salle beats UP in UAAP Finals Game 3, crowned champion

La Salle beats UP in UAAP Finals Game 3, crowned champion

/ 08:52 PM December 06, 2023

UAAP Finals Game 3 – Live Updates: UP vs La Salle

Kevin Quiambao La Salle UAAP championship

An emotional Kevin Quiambao celebrates after La Salle won its first UAAP championship since 2016 at the expense of UP in Game 3 of the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball Finals.–MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — La Salle turned to MVP Kevin Quiambao to end a seven-year title drought and slip past University of the Philippines, 73-69, in Game 3 of the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball Finals on Wednesday night.

Playing before a record crowd of 25,192 at Smart Araneta Coliseum, the Green Archers never wavered even when the Fighting Maroons led by 65-58 with eight minutes left with Quiambao taking matters into his own hands and igniting a 12-2 run for a precarious 70-67 lead with 4:12 remaining.

La Salle made the crucial stops including Quiambao’s clutch block on Gerry Abadiano’s layup attempt with 30 seconds to go before the versatile forward, who was serenaded with MVP chants, sealed the game with three free throws.


UP was held scoreless for six minutes until Francis Lopez scored with 2.2 seconds left.


La Salle clinched its first championship since 2016 and the school’s 10th overall men’s basketball crown.

Quiambao played his best game in the title series with 24 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and two blocks.

The 6-foot-5 point forward was named as Finals MVP after he scored 10 of La Salle’s 15-4 run to end the thrilling Game 3 in dramatic fashion.

“Yung mindset na leave everything on the floor dahil wala na ngang bukas ‘tong game 3, win or go home. Tulad ng sinasabi ni coach yung grind mahirap, yung mga pagkakamali kita niyo naman nagturnover ako pero binawi ko sa blocks and then nagtrust lang ako kay coach and sa teammates ko,” said Quiambao. “Sobrang sarap sa feeling  na nakuha namin yung championship despite na maraming nagdoubt sa amin nung first round. Ito na kami champion. Let’s go!”

Honored be part of history

Coach Topex Robinson rattles out last minute instructions for his team. –MARLO CUETO/

Coach Topex Robinson rattles out last minute instructions for his team. –MARLO CUETO/

UP dominated the series opener with a 97-67 rout—the most lopsided Game 1 in league history.


But it didn’t stop the Green Archers from chasing their dream championship, beating the Fighting Maroons with an 82-60 blowout in Game 2 to force a decider.

La Salle coach Topex Robinson, a UAAP first-timer, finally exorcised the ghost of his past— two finals losses in the NCAA— and won his maiden championship.

“I’m so grateful and honored to be a part of this amazing group of guys again. You have to give credit to the coaches who came before me and built this team. They’ve really done a tremendous job and I’m just so grateful for these guys that were with me throughout this season,” said Robinson.

“Everything is still not really wrapped in my head. But I just want to make sure that, I’m not letting any day pass by without us being focused on what’s in front of us and credit to UP, they really pushed us to the hilt and really challenged us down to our core. And it just brought out the fighter in these guys. But again, I cannot put the words you know the feeling right now.”

Evan Nelle finished his UAAP career with a championship as he delivered the good with 12 points, seven assists, six rebounds, and two steals. Graduating guard Mark Nonoy and Jonnel Policarpio contributed eight points each, while Mike Phillips was limited to five points but he grabbed 16 rebounds as La Salle outrebounded UP for the second straight game, 50-40.

UP shot 1-of-17 from the three-point line, settling for a runner-up for the second year in a row in its third straight Finals appearance.

Malick Diouf ended his UAAP career with another silver medal as the Fighting Maroons couldn’t reclaim the glory they won in Season 85. The former UAAP MVP had 21 points on 10-of-12 shooting to go with 14 rebounds, two steals, and two assists.

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Lopez, the Rookie of the Year, had 12 points, nine rebounds, four steals, three blocks, and three assists. Harold Alarcon had 10 points, while CJ Cansino added five points as he bid farewell to UP.

The scores:

DLSU (73) – Quiambao 24, Nelle 12, Policarpio 8, Nonoy 8, M. Phillips 5, Macalalag 5, Escandor 4, Austria 3, David 3, Cortez 1, Manuel 0, Nwankwo 0, B. Phillips 0, Abadam 0.

UP (69) – Diouf 21, Lopez 12, Alarcon 10, Cagulangan 8, Felicilda 5, Cansino 5, Torculas 4, Abadiano 2, Torres 2, Fortea 0, Pablo 0. Quarterscores: 22-21, 39-43, 55-58, 73-69

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

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