UAAP: Kevin Quiambao takes over late, pushes La Salle past UP
MANILA, Philippines — La Salle got back at top seed University of the Philippines, 88-79, to earn its fourth straight win in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Kevin Quiambao scored 11 of the Green Archers’ last 14 points while Evan Nelle, who missed their first-round encounter against UP, drilled the dagger three with 23 seconds remaining as La Salle solidified its hold on third place with a 7-3 record.
La Salle blew a 14-point lead in the third quarter but recovered after Quiambao took over and unleashed a personal 10-2 run down the stretch including a pair of free throws that made it 84-77 with 1:49 remaining.
Quiambao, who played through a wounded left temple he sustained in the second quarter, finished with 22 points, 12 rebounds, three steals, and two assists and drew MVP chants late in the game.
Nelle delivered 17 points, six assists, and four rebounds, while Michael Phillips had 15 points, 12 rebounds, and three steals in his return after missing the last two games.
“As I always say, my stats always come from the system of coach Topex. I just double my effort and trust the system. I’m not forcing things, I just trust my teammates. Everyone contributed because all of us really wanted to win,” said the MVP frontrunner Quiambao in Filipino.
Jonnel Policarpio was also instrumental with 11 points, eight rebounds, and five assists, as well as Francis Escandor, who also scored 11 from three treys as they pounced on the Fighting Maroons, who missed reigning MVP Malick Diouf due to a sprained right wrist and JD Cagulangan due to a hamstring injury.
“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. 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,” said La Salle coach Topex Robinson. “UP, we know, is a good team. The challenge is for the players is to step up. Together, we can do great things. This night, these guys are competitors.”
UP failed to secure the first Final Four ticket but remained the top seed with an 8-2 record and assured of at least a playoff for the next round.
Cansino scored the last eight points for the Fighting Maroons and finished with 20 points. Janjan Felicilda had 13 points, nine rebounds, and five assists, while Harold Alarcon added 10 markers.
DLSU (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.
Quarterscores: 22-14, 51-39, 66-59, 88-79