In a riveting showdown, the De La Salle Green Archers secured their position as the champions of the UAAP men's basketball, overcoming the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons in a tight Game 3 of the Season 86 Finals. The exciting match concluded with a final score of 73-69, marking the end of La Salle's seven-year wait for the championship trophy.
Quiambao's Key Performance
Season 86 MVP, Kevin Quiambao, played a crucial role in this hard-fought victory, showcasing his skills with a remarkable 24-point game, complemented by nine rebounds, four assists, and two blocks. His outstanding performance throughout the season earned him the well-deserved title of Finals MVP. Yet, Quiambao's display of talent wasn't alone in securing La Salle's win.
Other Notable Contributions
Other key players such as Evan Nelle, Jonnel Policarpio, and Mark Nonoy made significant contributions to the game. Their collective efforts helped the Green Archers overcome a five-point deficit in the pivotal fourth period. On the other side of the court, Malick Diouf led the UP team with a solid 21-point game and 14 rebounds, marking an impressive end to his UAAP career.
Historic Victory and Promising Start
This championship marks La Salle's first since 2016 and it's the first time since Ben Mbala that a player has won both the MVP award and the UAAP title in the same year. Moreover, this victory signifies a successful first season for coach Topex Robinson, who joins an elite group of DLSU coaches who have won the league title in their first year. La Salle's triumph followed a nine-game winning streak that was broken by UP in Game 1 of the finals, setting the stage for a dramatic conclusion to the season.