Make that 10 titles for the Green Archers!
The De La Salle Green Archers are back in the UAAP mountaintop after outlasting the UP Fighting Maroons in the Game 3 of the UAAP Season 86 finals, 73-69, at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
The two teams went back-and-forth in a fast-paced first quarter, with La Salle grabbing a one point lead to end the first.
UP would then mount a small run to build a lead as much as seven points in the second quarter.
Come the second half, the Green Archers and the Fighting Maroons would continue trading blows.
However, La Salle found itself trailing 65-60 in the middle of the fourth quarter. Despite this setback, the Green Archers managed to stage a comeback thanks to a 10-4 run, ultimately securing the victory in the end after UP muffed several scoring opportunities.
In all, the Fighting Maroons failed to score for more than six minutes, only breaking the drought in the last five seconds of the game.
Season 86 MVP—and now Finals MVP—Kevin Quiambao delivered an outstanding performance as he finished with 24 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and a steal for the newly minted champs.
The Taft-based squad secured its first men's basketball title since 2016, when they were under the guidance of former head coach Aldin Ayo and led by former La Salle stars Ben Mbala and Jeron Teng.
Quiambao also broke the so-called MVP curse, becoming the first player since Mbala to clinch both the UAAP title and the MVP award in the same year.
In addition, current coach Topex Robinson joined the ranks of Ayo, Juno Sauler, and four-time champion Franz Pumaren as one of only a few DLSU coaches to claim the league title in their inaugural year leading the team.
This victory marks DLSU's 10th men's basketball championship.