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Green Archers get even

photographs by Joey sanchez Mendoza for the daily tribune @tribunephl_joey Benjamin Phillips and De La Salle University beat Francis Lopez and the University of the Philippines, 82-60, in Game 2 of the UAAP finals. Game 3 takes place Wednesday.

De La Salle University returned the favor by blowing out University of the Philippines, 82-60, in Game 2 to force a rubber match in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 86 men’s basketball finals yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Green Archers did their assignment during the three-day break after suffering a 30-point drubbing in the opener of the best-of-three series last Wednesday, tightening down on defense and taking care of the boards to even the title showdown at 1-1.

Game 3 is set Wednesday, 6 p.m., at the same venue.

Unlikely heroes Francis Escandor, Joshua David and CJ Austria stepped up to the plate to show the way for La Salle, giving season Most Valuable Player Kevin Quiambao the much-needed support on offense to stay alive in its quest to end a seven-year title drought.

“I guess, we don’t really want to end this finals right away. We just gave UP a good fight. (The) players really wanted it this afternoon. They just try to be prepared for the way it’s gonna be,” Green Archers head coach Topex Robinson said after his wards got their payback from a 67-97 loss in the series opener.

“Again, these guys really played with their hearts out. They did their job and I’m happy for them.”

Escandor finished with 14 points, hitting 4-of-5 shooting from the three-point area including the last basket of La Salle in the game. David had 12 points while Austria made 11 for the Green Archers, who lorded over the boards with 58 rebounds, including 19 offensive, compared to 46 of the Fighting Maroons.

JC Macalalag put the fight out of UP with his basket with seven minutes left in the game to give La Salle a 71-51 lead.

 

Kevin Quiambao beams with pride after being awarded the MVP honors before Game 2 of the UAAP finals.

 

Quiambao, the first local player to win MVP after eight years, got nine points and 13 rebounds while playmaker Evan Nelle struggled on offense, shooting 2-of-12 from the field with his first basket swishing in the last 7:45 of the fourth canto, for four points but had 12 rebounds, 10 assists, five steals and a block.

The Green Archers picked up from where they left off in their second quarter storm to start the second half opening a 52-42 lead after the first three minutes. La Salle then ignited a 13-4 run with Joshua David hitting back-to-back triples for a 65-49 cushion heading into the payoff period.

CJ Cansino had 11 points, Malick Diouf had 11 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out with 3:30 left in the game, while Harold Alarcon had 10 for the Fighting Maroons, who got dragged to a Game 3 for the third straight season.

La Salle gave UP a dose of its own medicine with its choking defense to limit its opponent to 2-of-13 field goal shooting in the second quarter.

The Fighting Maroons had no field goals for 11 minutes bridging from the closing junction of the opening quarter before Cansino finally opened the basket’s lid with 14.3 seconds left in the second period followed by Alarcon’s jumper heading to halftime with the Green Archers up, 44-38.

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