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DLSU, UP gear up for anticipated showdown in FilOil finale

Kevin Quiambao is a marked man in the FilOil final. FilOil EcoOil Sports (file photo)
By Mon Anthony L. Valmoria

MANILA—The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers and the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons will figure out a showdown in the winner-take-all match at 4 p.m. Wednesday for the FilOil EcoOil Preseason Cup 2023 title at San Juan City.

After a stellar preseason run, the two rivals meet at the apex once again with a chance to bag the preseason title for themselves.

The Green Archers are unbeaten so far in the tournament with 11 wins in as many games and a win against the Fighting Maroons will cement their perfect title along with the title.

DLSU's resurgence in the preseason is largely attributed to newly-installed head coach Topex Robinson, who succeeded Derrick Pumaren.

With Robinson leading the way, the Taft-based squad has zoomed past the competition including a tough 90-83 win against UP in the elimination phase.

Moreover, several DLSU players have been clicking under Robinson's tutelage including star player Kevin Quiambao, SEA Games gold medalist Michael Phillips, and steady backcourt Evan Nelle and Mark Nonoy.

All four are expected to go all out as they try to bring a championship in the Green Archers' camp.

On the other hand, the Fighting Maroons have been gaining traction and are just peaking at the right time.

Behind an impressive recruiting class that saw them snag Luis Pablo, Seven Gagate, Francis Lopez, and Sean Alter, UP has shown they are the favorites not just in this preseason tourney but also in the coming UAAP season. 

Although the Diliman-based squad is loaded with depth and experience, they will still go wherever leaders JD Cagulangan, CJ Cansino, preseason rising star Harold Alarcon, and reigning MVP Malick Diouf will take them.

All four mainstays will be looking forward to doing battle against fellow UAAP title contenders DLSU.

Erstwhile Filoil preseason champions National University (NU) look to redeem themselves in the first game slated at 2 p.m. versus the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta (UPHSD) in the third place game.

Follow him on Twitter: @_Morval

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