UAAP Basketball

La Salle role players Escandor, David step up big in series-tying finals win 

Philip Matel

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La Salle role players Escandor, David step up big in series-tying finals win 

MAJOR ROLES. Backups Francis Escandor (left) and Joshua David play key roles in La Salle's must-win Game 2 against UP in the UAAP finals.

UAAP SEASON 86 MEDIA TEAM

Francis Escandor and Joshua David, who each average less than 5 points this season, come through for La Salle just when the Green Archers needed a scoring punch to take down the UP Fighting Maroons

MANILA, Philippines – Role players took on major roles. 

La Salle backups Francis Escandor and Joshua David stepped up big time in La Salle’s dominant 82-60 win over UP to extend the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball season to one last game.

With the Green Archers facing elimination, Escandor and David shot a combined 8-of-11 from downtown, emerging as the surprise best scorers in the team’s must-win game.

Prior to the Sunday showdown, both players hardly impacted La Salle’s scoring load, with Escandor averaging 4.5 points and David norming only 3.4 

“Coming from a big loss, we really wanted to bounce back, no matter what our mindset, we will never back down this game,” Escandor said after the Green Archers recovered from their Game 1 whipping against the Fighting Maroons, 97-67. 

“We really wanted to win and we showed that we really wanted to win,” he added.

The role players’ breakthrough performances also came at the perfect time as Most Valuable Player Kevin Quiambao and Mythical Team member Evan Nelle wound up contributing in other departments after getting contained offensively.

Escandor set the tone for the one-sided win in the second quarter, where he knocked down three triples to help give the Green Archers a 44-38 lead against the Maroons at halftime.

David, meanwhile, picked up the pace in the third quarter by adding two from downtown, with La Salle blowing the game wide open, 65-49, after the first 30 minutes of action.

He shared that his confidence was boosted by the words of first-year La Salle mentor Topex Robinson, who told David to let it fly when open.

Robinson, likewise, praised his players for taking up the scoring mantle, on top of helping shut down what he called the “best” collegiate basketball team in the country.

“Those are the shots that they’ve been really working on during the games, and we just have to give him the green light to really shoot it,” said Robinson.

“And, you know, luckily it went in… but more than that, it’s really more of the way they really defended the wings and the guards of UP.”

La Salle and UP will fight for the crown in a winner-take-all Game 3 on Wednesday, December 6. (SCHEDULE: UAAP Season 86 basketball— Rappler.com

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