The Ultimate Battle: Reliving Three Hours of UAAP Championship Glory
MANILA, Philippines—5:27 pm at Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, the energy inside the Big Dome was palpable, even as the lights were still dim and the crowd was growing, only a hush above the other sounds inside the coliseum. With half an hour before the tip-off, the invisible barricade split the crowd, a line defined only by colors on either side: Maroon on one, green and white on the other. The Coliseum’s titantron was flashing advertisements for big events it would host in the coming days, but no one was paying attention to those giant screens. The first beats of the soon-to-be raucous drum line of La Salle started playing. The “dum-dum-du-dum” rhythm that every La Sallian knows and loves blared around the arena while UP crowd outnumbered the La Sallians. A few minutes before Araneta was completely filled to the brim, the UP crowd outnumbered the La Sallians. The ever-so-scintillating “UP Fight!” chants crescendoed inside the Coliseum while the players watched and listened on as they continued to chuck up practice shots. At 6:08 pm, war began with UP’s Malick Diouf winning the tip-off, but it was Escandor who drew first blood with an inside bucket. In Game 3, when all chips were on the table and all the marbles were up for grabs, both camps ran the floor with a sense of urgency. The Archers were the hunters who successfully snared UP, 73-69, to capture the UAAP Season 86 trophy. “Losing Game 1 by 30 was really challenging for us but I just told them we need each other, we got this far and we just can’t give up,” said Robinson. For the second year in a row, the Fighting Maroons came short again in Game 3 of the UAAP Finals. At 9:00 pm, the Green Archers held their bows high to signify their latest conquest.