La Salle tops UP in thrilling match-up

MVP FRONTRUNNER: Kevin Quiambao made another emphatic case for the MVP plum with another dominant performance in the UAAP hoop wars on Sunday night, Nov. 5, 2023 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. /
MVP FRONTRUNNER: Kevin Quiambao made another emphatic case for the MVP plum with another dominant performance in the UAAP hoop wars on Sunday night, Nov. 5, 2023 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. / UAAP

THE De La Salle University Green Archers gained revenge on the University of the Philippines, defeating the Fighting Maroons, 88-79, in the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball Tournament on Sunday night, Nov. 5, 2023 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

With the Fighting Maroons grabbing the lead, 75-74, with under four minutes remaining in the game, Kevin Quiambao showed why he’s the leading candidate for the Most Valuable Player award this season as he scored the next 10 points to restore order for La Salle, erecting an 84-77 lead with 1:49 to go.

CJ Cansino made things interesting with a long deuce, but Evan Nelle sealed the victory for the men in green by canning a triple to give them an 87-79 lead with just 22.9 ticks left.

“All these stats I gain is because of Coach’s system. I just doubled my effort and trusted the system,” said Quiambao, who had 22 points, 12 rebounds and three steals.

With their fourth straight triumph, the Green Archers improved to 7-3, just a game behind the Fighting Maroons and the National University Bulldogs, who are now tied at first and second spots with identical 8-2 records.

Nelle chipped in 17 points, six rebounds and four assists, while Jonnel Policarpio and Francis Escandor had 11 points each. Policarpio also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out five assists.

The Fighting Maroons missed point guard JD Cagulangan for the second straight game due to a hamstring injury while reigning MVP Malick Diouf did not suit up due to a wrist injury.

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