UAAP Men’s Basketball: UP Seizes Top Spot, Adamson Forces Playoff for No. 4


The UAAP men’s basketball action wrapped up with exhilarating twists and turns, positioning University of the Philippines (UP) firmly at the helm of the Final Four while Adamson University successfully forced a playoff for the coveted fourth spot.

UP’s dominant display against National University (NU) sealed their commanding lead, culminating in a resounding 79-57 victory that secured them the top seed with a notable 12-2 record. The win granted them a crucial twice-to-beat advantage, while La Salle snagged the second playoff bonus. Meanwhile, Adamson’s Monty Montebon emerged as the game-changer with a clutch three-pointer, paving the way for a high-stakes playoff with Ateneo.

Coach Goldwin Monteverde highlighted UP’s strategic defensive preparation against NU, emphasizing the team’s cohesion on both ends of the court. The Maroons’ remarkable chemistry translated into a substantial halftime lead and a strong defensive performance that stifled NU’s offense. Francis Lopez and Malick Diouf showcased their prowess, contributing significantly to UP’s commanding victory.

Captain CJ Cansino underscored the importance of teamwork, praising the team’s selflessness and trust in their system. He emphasized their consistent effort and unwavering commitment, reflecting the cohesion they aimed for throughout the season.

In a heart-stopping showdown between Adamson and University of the East (UE), Montebon emerged as the unlikely hero, sinking a game-winning three-pointer with just 2.7 seconds remaining. Despite the close call, UE exhibited tenacity, staging a late comeback with Jack Cruz-Dumont’s dramatic three-pointer, momentarily seizing the lead before Montebon’s heroic shot.

Read Also: La Salle’s Triumph and UST’s Redemption Journey

Reflecting on the thrilling moment, Montebon shared his surprise at becoming the game’s standout, describing the clarity of mind during his game-winning shot and the subsequent eruption of crowd energy.

Coach Nash Racela maintained a focused approach, acknowledging the intensity of the game against UE and the criticality of securing the win before contemplating the impending showdown with Ateneo. He emphasized the importance of a step-by-step approach, preventing any premature thoughts about subsequent matchups.

As the regular season culminates and the Final Four looms, UP’s commanding lead positions them as formidable contenders, while Adamson’s resilient performance sets the stage for a high-stakes playoff for the fourth spot. Both teams showcased determination, teamwork, and nerves of steel, setting the stage for thrilling matchups in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.


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