It’s official. The University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons will challenge defending champions Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles for the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 84 Men’s Basketball Championship title after the state university ball squad delivered another upset, this time at the expense of the De La Salle University Green Archers.
The UP Fighting Maroons held up its #UPFight stance up to the last seconds of the game despite the seeming lost cause against the insurmountable lead by the DLSU Manila team for most of the do-or-die semifinals battle on May 6, 2022, witnessed by the crowd at a full-packed SM Mall of Asia Arena, on Philippine free television, and worldwide on streaming platforms.
The first three quarters’ numbers all in favor of the Green Archers bore witness to the uphill climb by the Maroons: 22-15 (1stQ), 44-39 (2ndQ), 64-51 (3rdQ).
UP made run after run, stops after stops, and eventually delivered a 78-74 victory at the end of the game and crushed the Archers’ hope for a finals spot after it won the first semis game against the twice-to-beat-advantaged team from Quezon City. The win was even sweeter as UP stopped a repeat of its Season 82 heartbreaking semis finish.
“Actually halos buong game we were struggling. It led until the last four minutes but we never gave up, ‘yung overcoming adversity,” shared UP Fighting Maroons head coach Goldwin Monteverde.
“Sa totoo lang, ‘di ko maano what I’m feeling right now eh… Going into this game, everyone just decided that we were gonna fight until the end,” Monteverde revealed.
UP had previously delivered a major upset against Ateneo in the last game of the elimination round, halting the Blue Eagles’ 4-year streak of winning games.
The win by the UP Men’s Basketball Team set up another “Battle of Katipunan” between neighboring universities UP and Ateneo, a rivalry that was last witnessed by the world in the UAAP Season 81 when the former perennial cellar-dweller squad climbed the rungs to meet the Ateneo champions in a finals series.
The UP journey to its historic 2018 finals appearance was documented for posterity in the book “Nowhere To Go But UP (How a Basketball Team Inspired a Nation)”, titled in honor of the UP community’s efforts to raise its team’s standings.
The highly-anticipated Ateneo and UP rematch in the UAAP finals since the neighboring universities last faced off in 2018 had been looming as both ball clubs led both the first round and second round of eliminations with Ateneo ranked 1st and UP ranked 2nd.
The UP Fighting Maroons are playing to win its first UAAP championship crown since it last won in 1986.
The Ateneo Blue Eagles are aiming to extend its championship title streak to four after it first clinched a finals berth with a win against its semifinal challenger from the Far Eastern University Tamaraws.
The UAAP Season 84 Men’s Basketball games are free to watch on the Varsity Channel of Cignal Play app, Smart Giga Play app, and One Sports television, TV5, and via iWantTFC for international subscribers.
Tickets for the UAAP May 8, 2022 (Sunday) Game will be available at 10:00am today (May 7, 2022) in all SM Tickets Outlets (SM Store -Customer Service, Eastwood Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall concierge, SM Mall of Asia Arena Coral Ticket Booth) and Online via Smtickets.com
The UP and Ateneo Battle of Katipunan schedule:
- Sunday, May 8, 4 pm at SM MOA Arena
- Wednesday, May 11, 6 pm at SM MOA Arena
- Friday, May 13, 6 pm at SM MOA Arena
WATCH the decisive last quarter of action at the UAAP semifinals between UP and DLSU here and get ready to witness more epic action on the hardcourt at the UAAP Season 84 Finals between the UP Fighting Maroons and Ateneo Blue Eagles!
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