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La Salle reclaims UAAP crown after seven years
La Salle reclaims UAAP crown after seven years
Sports
La Salle reclaims UAAP crown after seven years
by Mhillen Nicole Borja07 December 2023
Photo courtesy: UAAP Media

De La Salle University has reclaimed the top spot in UAAP Men's Basketball, marking a triumphant return after a seven-year drought.

La Salle once again asserted its dominance emerging victorious over the University of the Philippines in Game 3 of the finals with a narrow 73-69 score.

Kevin Quiambao solidified his MVP status for the season by leading the charge with an impressive stat line of 24 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks.

Quiambao's stellar performance continued in the finals, earning him the Finals MVP title with an average of 14.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 2.0 blocks across three games.

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“Mindset lang na ‘leave it all on the court’ dahil wala na ngang bukas, Game 3 na ito [kaya] win or go home na. Sobrang sarap sa pakiramdam na kahit maraming nagdoubt sa amin nung first round, ito na kami champion!” said Quiambao.

Evan Nelle, the bravest man on the court, showcased his prowess with 12 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds.

In a notable contribution, graduating player Mark Nonoy added eight points, while Mike Phillips demonstrated prowess on both ends with 16 rebounds, five points, four assists, and two steals.

Champions Joaqui Manuel, Francis Escandor, and Ben Phillips will bid farewell to La Salle with another title to their name.

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Throughout the first three quarters, the battle between the two teams remained tightly contested. However, as the final period unfolded, the competition intensified, with La Salle narrowing the lead to a single possession at 65-63.

With five minutes remaining, Nelle and Quiambao spearheaded a comeback, allowing the Taft-based squad to take the lead at 68-67.

Following two consecutive free throws from KQ, La Salle secured their latest championship, a feat not achieved since 2016.

“I'm so grateful and honored to be a part of this amazing group of guys. Also, we have to credit the coaches who came before me and built this team. They've done a tremendous job and I'm just so grateful for these guys that were with me throughout the season. Can't thank enough also the coaches, said Green Archers head coach Topex Robinson.

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This victory marks La Salle's 10th title in UAAP history and their first since Season 79.

Meanwhile, Malick Diouf concluded his UAAP career with the Katipunan-based squad, delivering an impactful performance with 21 points and 14 rebounds.

Contributing to the cause, Francis Lopez added 12 points, nine rebounds, four steals, three blocks, and three assists, while Harold Alarcon chipped in with 10 points.

CJ Cansino also bid farewell to the Maroons jersey, marking the end of his collegiate basketball journey.

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