They stepped up big time.
On the night Kevin Quiambao was officially crowned MVP, the rest of the La Salle Green Archers stepped up in the team's 82-60 win over the UP Fighting Maroons in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 86 finals on Sunday.
Among the Green Archers who gave La Salle a much-needed lift were Francis Escandor and Joshua David, who provided the spark on offense in the middle quarters that proved to be the difference as La Salle evened the best-of-three series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I’m just really really happy we got the win. Coming from a loss, we really wanted to bounce back no matter what. We really wanted to win, and we showed we want to,” he said.
Escandor dropped three triples in the second quarter to help turn a catch-up game into a 44-38 advantage at halftime.
The Green Archers didn't stop there.
David also joined the fray in a 21-11 third period outburst, where he drilled in a couple of three-pointers that sucked the life out of the Fighting Maroons.
David, who scored 12 points on four treys, later revealed coach Topex Robinson had a lot to do with their performance on Sunday before a mammoth crowd of 21,000 fans clad in maroon and green.
“Malaking factor ‘yung sinabihan kami ni Coach Topex na ‘kapag open kayo, tira nyo, shoot with confidence.’ Para sa 'kin, as a player, malaking boost nun,” he said.
But, at least in the eyes of Robinson, it’s not the offense of Escandor and David that really stood out.
“Those are the shots they’ve been really working on, so we just have to give them the green light to really shoot it, and luckily they went in,” he said.
“More than that, it’s really the way they defended the guards of UP. Give them the scoring but what worked for them is defense,” Robinson pointed out.
La Salle and UP duke it out one last time on Wednesday.
Game time is set at 6 p.m. at the same venue.
(With reports from Kiko Demigillo, One Sports)