MANILA, Philippines – UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball is finally the UP Fighting Maroons’ season as they claimed their victory after a 36-year title drought.
The Fighting Maroons won the final match against the reigning Ateneo Blue Eagles via overtime with a score of 72-69 on May 13 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
With only a fraction of a second left, guard JD Cagulangan proved ’13’ was the lucky number that night as he played the hero upon scoring the heart-stopping three-pointer clincher in overtime, establishing UP’s long-awaited championship.
Marooons’ Malick Diouf bagged the Finals Most Valuable Player award after earning 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 steals.
CJ Cansino tallied 14 points, and graduating Ricci Rivero finished with 9 points.
UP 72 — Diouf 17, Cansino 14, Cagulangan 13, Rivero 9, Alarcon 8, Tamayo 6, Spencer 3, Lucero 0, Abadiano 0, Fortea 0.
ATENEO 69 — Belangel 27, Kouame 12, Mamuyac 10, Koon 6, Verano 5, Ildefonso 2, Tio 2, Andrade 0, Daves 0, Chiu 0.
Quarters: 17-11, 31-27, 46-47, 59-59, 72-69.
Nowhere to Go But UP founder Renan Dalisay said in a report from Rappler: “When the buzzer finally sounded and UP reclaimed the championship after 36 years, I shed a tear knowing that if you do the right thing, no matter how long and difficult the journey, your sacrifices will pay off.”
“It was just a dream that gave us hope. That same hope made this happen,” he added.