UAAP Basketball

MVP frontrunner Kevin Quiambao dominates in clutch as La Salle survives undermanned UP

JR Isaga

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MVP frontrunner Kevin Quiambao dominates in clutch as La Salle survives undermanned UP

DO IT ALL. Kevin Quiambao in action for the La Salle Green Archers in UAAP Season 86.


UAAP MVP frontrunner Kevin Quiambao lives up to his lofty billing in a marquee match, singlehandedly lifting La Salle in the clutch over an undermanned UP side without reigning MVP Malick Diouf

MANILA, Philippines – The La Salle Green Archers rallied to their fourth straight win in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament with a late pullaway against the undermanned UP Fighting Maroons, 88-79, at the packed Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, November 5.

MVP frontrunner Kevin Quiambao lived up to his lofty billing in the crucial stretch of the elimination round, posting 22 points – including 11 of La Salle’s last 14 – to go with 12 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 assists as the Archers held on to solo third place with a 7-3 record.

Evan Nelle added 17 points, 6 dimes, and 4 boards, while lanky spark plug Jonnel Policarpio chipped in 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists in under 15 minutes off the bench.

Coming from a 13-point deficit to start the third quarter, notorious comeback squad UP once again staged another late rally, briefly claiming a 75-74 lead at the 4:45 mark of the fourth off a CJ Cansino layup.

Quiambao, however, had enough of the Maroons stealing the Archers’ thunder and took matters into his own hands with a personal 10-2 swing, sinking layups left and right, and ending with a pair of free throws at the 1:49 mark as La Salle regained an 84-77 cushion.

UP had a sliver of hope after Cansino sank a long two with 45 ticks left to get within 5, 79-84, but Nelle slammed that comeback door shut with an emphatic dagger three at the 22.9-second mark for the 87-79 separation before Quiambao split his charities to set the final score with 15 seconds left.

“Again, we know coming to this game that UP’s gonna be the barometer of this season, so we just try to remind everybody that this is a test of how far we have come as a team,” said La Salle head coach Topex Robinson.

“We had a chance the last time we played them in the first round. Things didn’t go our way. We just came here, tried to be the better version of ourselves.”

With the win, La Salle stayed in the mix for the top two spots – which come with a twice-to-beat Final Four bonus – as UP fell into a share of the lead with NU at 8-2.

Without injured reigning MVP Malick Diouf to man the paint, backcourt standouts Cansino and Janjan Felicilda took up the scoring cudgels in the loss with 20 and 13 points, respectively. Felicilda also posted all-around numbers of 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block.

Harold Alarcon added 10 points in 17 minutes as replacement starting center Luis Pablo managed 6 points and 5 boards in 24 minutes. UP also played on without injured floor general JD Cagulangan and reserve guard Cyril Gonzales.

The Scores

La Salle 88 – Quiambao 22, Nelle 17, M. Phillips 15, Policarpio 11, Escandor 11, Nonoy 3, Abadam 3, Cortez 2, Austria 2, Manuel 2, B. Phillips 0, David 0, Macalalag 0, Nwankwo 0.

UP 79 – Cansino 20, Felicilda 13, Alarcon 10, Abadiano 9, Pablo 6, Briones 5, Torculas 4, Lopez 4, Alter 2, Belomonte 2, Torres 2, Fortea 2, Gagate 0.

Quarters: 22-14, 51-39, 66-59, 88-79.


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