UAAP Basketball

Evan Nelle delivers on promise as La Salle drags UP to winner-take-all clash

Delfin Dioquino

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Evan Nelle delivers on promise as La Salle drags UP to winner-take-all clash

PHYSICAL. Evan Nelle in action for the La Salle Green Archers in the UAAP Season 86 men's basketball tournament.

UAAP

Evan Nelle bounces back from a forgettable Game 1 performance as he does it all for La Salle in its redemption win over UP in the UAAP finals

MANILA, Philippines – Evan Nelle walked the talk for La Salle.

Promising not to let the Green Archers’ season end after a forgettable Game 1 performance, Nelle delivered as La Salle dragged UP to a winner-take-all duel in the UAAP Season 86 finals with an 82-60 win on Sunday, December 3.

Drubbed by 30 points in the series opener, the hot-shooting Archers returned the favor by dealing the Fighting Maroons their worst loss of the season.

“We had our backs against the wall, we just had to come out blazing, trust in each other. We had no other choice but to win,” said Nelle. “We had to match their physicality, be aggressive, play smarter, which we did.”

Nelle fired blanks in Game 1, where he got limited to 8 points on a 4-of-13 shooting, including a 0-of-6 clip from beyond the arc.

Although the veteran guard carried over his shooting struggles to Game 2 as Nelle finished with a season-low 4 points after missing 12 of his 14 field goals, he still posted a double-double of 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

Nelle also disrupted the passing lanes and recorded a game-high 5 steals, a testament to how badly La Salle wanted to live another day.

“We really came out that this will not be our last game,” said Nelle.

The win came on the day Nelle officially got feted as a member of the Mythical Five along with teammate Kevin Quiambao, who crowned himself the MVP.

As honored as Nelle is, though, his goal is a different hardware.

“It is a pleasure. It is really nice. But I want the bigger one. I want the championship,” said Nelle, who won a title with the San Beda Red Lions in the NCAA.

The do-or-die Game 3 is slated on Wednesday, December 6, at the Araneta Coliseum. (SCHEDULE: UAAP Season 86 basketball) – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.