Quiambao Kevin Quiambao of La Salle defends against Aidous Torculas of UP during Game 2 of the UAAP men’s basketball championship. UAAP phooto

UAAP: Archers stay alive

December 4, 2023 Theodore P. Jurado 191 views

THE Game 2 curse continues for University of the Philippines.

La Salle flipped the switch in the second quarter and dominated the second half to drub the Fighting Maroons, 82-60, to extend the UAAP men’s basketball Finals to another game last night before 20,863 fans at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

UP carried the momentum of its 30-point series-opening victory by racing to a 12-2 advantage on Malick Diouf’s back-to-back baskets.

Despite giving up 27 points to their foes in the first period, the Green Archers just continued playing, limiting the Fighting Maroons to 11 points each from second to fourth quarter to level the series at one game apiece.

For the second straight Finals, UP has failed to close out the series, as the Diliman-based side is now 0-4 all-time in Game 2s.

The championship decider is set at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at the fabled Big Dome.

National University, with its women’s dynastic rule on the line, upended University of Santo Tomas, 72-70, to send the series to a deciding Game 3.

Camille Clarin had 18 points and eight assists, while Karl Pingol added 14 points and five boards as the Lady Bulldogs foiled the Tigresses’ coronation of ending a 17-year championship drought.

“Buhay pa kami. Buhay pa kami,” said NU coach Aris Dimaunahan. “Today’s mindset was just to stay alive, stay in the present. We don’t even think of Game 1, we don’t even think of Game 3. Our main focus is Game 2 only.”

Angel Surada scored the game’s biggest basket, a short jumper that gave the Lady Bulldogs a 72-68 cushion with 1:01 remaining.

Kent Pastrana, who was fouled in the next play and drilled both her foul line shots with 47.8 seconds left to cut UST’s deficit to 70-72, had a chance to become the hero but could not get the job done.

After Clarin uncharacteristically missed both free throws with 11.5 seconds left, the Tigresses had a shot of winning it all but Pastrana’s three-pointer from the left corner went short.

“We just had to remind ourselves why we do it, why we love the sport so much, and what’s really at stake. I think when we figured out why we’re doing it, that’s what gave us the heart to go out and execute until the last minute,” said Clarin.

In the high school boys basketball, Carl Manding scored the game-winning lay-up in the final 2.5 seconds as UST pulled off a narrow 82-81 win over Far Eastern University-Diliman.

The Tiger Cubs, who drew a game-high 25 points from Wacky Ludovice, survived a 37-point fourth quarter by the Baby Tamaraws to raise their record to 2-1.

Kieffer Alas posted his first triple-double of the season with 19 points, 17 rebounds and 13 assists as La Salle-Zobel joined UST and NU-Nazareth at 2-1 with a 100-76 dismantling of UP Integrated School.

Manding, JB Lim and Kurt Velasquez each scored 10 points for the Tiger Cubs.

Bonn Daja had a double-double of 18 points and 11 boards while Waki Espina (16), Charles Dimaano (14) and Andrei Pabellano (12) also logged double-digit scoring for the Junior Archers, who led by as much as 27 points.

The scores:

First game (W)

NU (72) – Clarin 18, Pingol 14, Fabruada 13, Surada 8, Berberabe 5, Solis 5, Canuto 4, Betanio 3, Cayabyab 2, Konateh 0, Bartolo 0.
UST (70) – Pastrana 15, Ferrer 15, Dionisio 15, Tacatac 12, Santos 4, Soriano 3, Bron 3, Maglupay 2, Villasin 1, Ly 0, Ambos 0.
Quarterscores: 21-26, 40-43, 59-57, 72-70

Second game (M)

DLSU (82) – Escandor 14, David 12, Austria 11, Quiambao 9, M. Phillips 9, Nonoy 8, Macalalag 7, Cortez 6, Nelle 4, B. Phillips 2, Manuel 0, Abadam 0, Policarpio 0.
UP (60) – Cansino 11, Diouf 11, Alarcon 10, Lopez 9, Cagulangan 6, Felicilda 6, Torculas 4, Abadiano 3, Belmonte 0, Torres 0, Alter 0, Pablo 0, Gonzales 0, Briones 0.
Quarterscores: 24-27, 44-38, 65-49, 82-60.