UP Fighting Maroons capture basketball title for first time in 36 years

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 13) — After 36 years of disappointments, the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons turned their championship dream into a reality.

The Fighting Maroons won the UAAP Season 84 men's basketball title after outlasting the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles in overtime, 72-69, in Game 3 of the finals Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

With time winding down at the dying seconds of the extra period, JD Cagulangan buried the biggest shot of the night. The young guard knocked down a cold-blooded winning trey with half a second left to secure the victory for UP. He finished the match with 13 points and five rebounds.

Malick Diouf and CJ Cansino tallied 17 points and 14 points for the Fighting Maroons, respectively. Diouf was named the Finals Most Valuable Player.

SJ Belangel paced the Blue Eagles with a game-high 27 points, four assists, and three rebounds while Angelo Kouame chipped in 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Graduating star Ricci Rivero contributed nine markers and three boards in his farewell outing for UP.

The scores:

UP (72) — Diouf 17, Cansino 14, Cagulangan 13, Rivero 9, Alarcon 8, Tamayo 6, Spencer 3, Lucero 0, Abadiano 0, Fortea 0.

ATENEO (69) — Belangel 27, Kouame 12, Mamuyac 10, Koon 6, Verano 5, Ildefonso 2, Tio 2, Andrade 0, Daves 0, Chiu 0.

Quarterscores: 17-11, 31-27, 46-47, 59-59, 72-69.