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UP’s Historic Top Seed in UAAP: Just the Beginning

University of the Philippines (UP) has completed the UAAP men’s basketball tournament elimination round atop the standings for the first time with a record of 12-2.

The Fighting Maroons claimed the number one spot after a convincing 79-57 win over the National University Bulldogs on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena as they look forward to the Final Four.

UP coach Goldwin Monteverde credited their excellent elimination record to the team’s tireless effort and commitment to hard work.

In Filipino, Monteverde said, “All of this wasn’t planned Like I said, one game at a time. Whatever comes your way during the season, you just have to prepare  and just fight every challenge. We’re thankful for where we are now.”

Guard CJ Cansino also emphasized the team’s selfless approach and trust in the system as reasons for UP’s success.

Scoing 11 points against NU, Cansino said, “I guess it just proved that we worked hard as a team, we were selfless and we trusted the system. We gave a lot of effort. We were able to find the consistency that we’ve been searching for the whole season. Hopefully, we become even more consistent in the coming games because that’s the most important thing. We also need to continue to trust the work that our coaches have put in starting in practice.”

UP coach Goldwin Monteverde.–MARLO CUETO/

Monteverde has been instrumental in UP’s historical achievement, leading the team to its first championship in 36 years in Season 84 and securing a second straight Finals appearance last December.

Despite topping the eliminations, the Fighting Maroons are preparing for the next stage, promising to maintain their competitive edge.

“I think heading into the season, all the teams are very competitive. Getting here, getting this spot is a part of it. We know that we’re not finished yet. Whatever we have to do, we have to follow through on it. We just have to wait for the team we’re going to face so we can prepare for it,” said Monteverde.

Ateneo and Adamson are set to face off for the last Final Four ticket, and UP is ready for any challenge.

“We’re not choosing anyone, we don’t compare. We just want to give our all regardless of who stands in our way. We’ll just prepare for that and one thing, of course, we need everyone to be healthy in the playoffs,” Monteverde added.

As they move into the post-elimination stage of Season 86, Monteverde assured that the Fighting Maroons will continue to embody the team’s core values.

“We will always concentrate on the things that we can improve on, winning or losing games. We always have to learn so it’s important for us to see through this game what we still need to do. We just have to concentrate first on ourselves before dealing with which opponent are we going to face,” he said.