By Maxine Louise Lagman
JD Cagulangan’s game-winning triple with 0.5 seconds left ushered the University of the Philippines (UP) to its first UAAP men’s basketball championship after 36 years, defeating three-time champs Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), 72-69, in overtime on Friday, May 13, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
“Sobrang sarap, wala akong masabi. Champion na kami. Sobrang sarap talaga,” said Cagulangan.
Down by five, UP’s Cagulangan shot a trey followed by Malick Diouf’s basket to tie with Ateneo, 69-all, 39.7 ticks left in the overtime period.
Cagulangan then took the ball in the ensuing play, and pulled a step-back three-pointer to ice UP’s third title in the league.
“I feel very happy right now,” said the Fighting Maroons’ head coach Goldwin Monteverde. “I want to thank the UP community. I also want to thank the Lord God for this championship.”
Finals MVP Diouf finished with 17 points, nine rebounds, and three steals, while CJ Cansino, who returned to action after hurting his knee last May 1, finished with 14 markers.
Cagulangan, who shot the winning triple, had 13 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
SJ Belangel led the Blue Eagles with 27 points, while Kouame tallied 12 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, and three blocks.
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