UAAP Season 86 men's basketball tournament: DLSU vs UP Game 2 Finals

3 UAAP Finals Trends You Should Know About Before The DLSU vs. UP Finale

The UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament finals series between De La Salle University (DLSU) and the University of the Philippines (UP) has been a rollercoaster. After both teams secured their slots in the finals, many expected it to be a leveled series. But after UP thrashed DLSU with a 30-point win in Game 1, the balances tilted heavily in the Fighting Maroons’ favor. But, the storyline got even thicker when DLSU made a huge comeback in Game 2, winning by 22 points to force a do-or-die Game 3. Now, we’re back to the series being a toss-up.

The Green Archers and the Fighting Maroons are now, for the most part, all square right. UP defeated DLSU in Round 1 of the eliminations, while DLSU won Round 2. In the Finals series, the same trend followed. Thus, there may be little predicting who will lift the trophy this season.

But, certain trends from previous UAAP Finals Series might provide some insight into how Game 3 might go. Here are three you should know about before this Wednesday’s ultimate finale.

UP vs. Game 2s
UAAP Season 86 men's basketball tournament: DLSU vs UP Game 2 Finals

The Fighting Maroons have been to the past three UAAP Finals, and their record each year has followed this same trend: win Game 1, lose Game 2, play a do-or-die Game 3. UP has told this story from Seasons 84 to 86.

In Season 84, the Fighting Maroons won their first UAAP title in 36 years when they defeated Ateneo in Game 3. The following year, however, Ateneo got their revenge and defeated UP, also in Game 3.

While it is unfortunate that the Maroons have blown their Game 1 advantage three years straight, their advantage now is that they have been in a winner-takes-all Game 3 situation twice before already. Most of their players have faced familiar pressures and will likely be ready to take them on once again. But will they be able to reclaim the UAAP crown this year?

DLSU vs. The MVP Trend
DLSU Green Archer Kevin Quiambao

Kevin Quiambao has been instrumental in DLSU’s rise to the UAAP Finals this season. As one of the team’s most reliable and hardworking players, he has earned the title of MVP for the Season 86 men’s basketball tournament, and though this is a huge accomplishment on his part, the UAAP has an MVP dilemma.

In the past five UAAP seasons, the season MVP did not end up lifting the championship trophy. When Ateneo went on a three-season championship streak, all the season MVPs were not Blue Eagles — Ben Mbala from DLSU, Bright Akhuetie from UP, and Chabi Yo from UST. In Season 84, an Atenean finally claimed the individual award when Ange Kouame was named MVP, but UP was crowned the champions. And last year, UP’s Malick Diouf won the MVP award but his team was unable to defend their basketball crown.

If you’re a DLSU fan, this may not be a trend you want to be thinking about. But, you can refuel your optimism by remembering that Kevin Quiambao already broke a longer-lasting streak as he became the first local MVP since 2015. Could he break yet another UAAP Finals trend?

UP vs. Araneta Coliseum
Araneta Coliseum basketball

The past three times the Fighting Maroons have made it to the finals they have won Game 1 and lost Game 2 each time. But there’s another trend that we’ve also picked up on: UP has not won a Finals game in Araneta Coliseum in the last three seasons.

In Season 84, all finals games were played in MOA Arena, and this is where the Fighting Maroons were crowned champions. The following season, however, Games 2 and 3 were held in Araneta Coliseum, where UP lost both games and gave up the title to Ateneo. This year, the Maroons again took Game 1 in MOA Arena and lost Game 2 in Araneta Coliseum.

For UP fans, returning to Araneta for a do-or-die Finals game may not come with pleasant memories. But, once again, the Fighting Maroons have been on this stage before. Can they use their experience and reclaim the UAAP crown this year?

We won’t need to wait much longer to find out which among these UAAP Finals trends will be broken and which among them will stay true, as a champion will be crowned on Wednesday, December 6.

Images from UAAP Media.

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