Top 10 moments from the Green Archers’ Season 86 redemption

The DLSU Green Archers’ return to the throne featured several countless special moments, but these 10 stood out above the rest.

10. Five Green Archers make presence felt on opening day with double figures

After making waves as one of the teams to beat in the preseason, the new-look DLSU Green Archers under Head Coach Topex Robinson made their presence felt after convincingly trumping the FEU Tamaraws, 87-76. The lackluster end to their previous campaign became forgettable as key returnees Evan Nelle, Kevin Quiambao, Mike Phillips, CJ Austria, and Francis Escandor showcased the new firepower of their offense by each scoring double figures.

9. Green Archers jump to 3-1 behind 23-0 run in third quarter versus AdU

After encountering a roadblock early on and choking a fourth-quarter lead to their rival ADMU Blue Eagles, DLSU wasted no time in getting back on track. The Green Archers shook off a questionable first-half performance by going on a 23-0 run in the third quarter of their first-round matchup against the Soaring Falcons. Kevin Quiambao proved to the league that he meant business in his sophomore season by scoring or assisting 25 of La Salle’s 29 points in the period.

8. Cortez’s breakout game leads Green Archers to end Round One with first win of eventual nine-game streak

Following tough back-to-back losses against UP and NU, the Green Archers ended Round One on a high note behind sophomore big Raven Cortez’s 18-point breakout game. After being sparingly used in La Salle’s earlier games, the former De La Salle Zobel Junior Archer led his side to a comeback win of 83-75 after entering the final period of play down by one.

7. Quiambao’s historic triple-double

After putting the league on notice after an MVP-worthy first round, Quiambao carried La Salle to a revenge victory over NU with his triple-double consisting of 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 14 assists. His performance in DLSU’s third-straight win marked the first Green Archer triple-double in UAAP history and the league’s first-ever posted by a non-guard. He later tallied his second career triple-double in a clutch performance to take their Round Two matchup versus UE.

6. DLSU make it five straight and take revenge over AdU to secure Final Four

After missing out on their prior Season 85 campaign, the Green Archers completed the first step in their redemption tour after punching their Final Four ticket in 11 games. Their 69-57 grind-it-out victory over the Soaring Falcons brought their record to 8-3, allowing them to avenge their prior loss to AdU in their playoff for the fourth seed.

5. DLSU beat rivals ADMU for twice-to-beat, Round Two sweep

As the standings started to close in for the Final Four playoff picture, the Green Archers were gunning for a twice-to-beat advantage and an unblemished 8-0 win-loss record to end their second-round run. There was only one team standing in the way of the determined Lasallians: Ateneo.

In what seemed to have been straight out of a movie script, the two bitter rivals met in their last elimination round game with the stakes higher than ever. Despite a fourth-quarter scare by the Blue Eagles, La Salle managed to dig deep and clinch the second seed.

4. Nonoy goes on scoring explosion to secure Finals, extend streak to nine

Mark Nonoy’s transfer to De La Salle sent shockwaves in the UAAP community. His stellar scoring skills were a secret to no one, especially after a standout rookie campaign at UST. His first two seasons in the Green and White were shocking; he saw his averages drop and his role was unclear. This would all change come Season 86, where his value and skillset truly shined under new Head Coach Topex Robinson.

The speedy and pesky lefty burned bright during the season in his revitalized role, but he was on absolute fire during Round Two of the tournament. He helped blaze the trail for the Green Archers to reach the Finals and heavily contributed to DLSU’s sweep of the second round with his outside shooting and annoyingly good defense. One of the highlight performances was his 25-point showing against the UE Red Warriors where he knocked down seven three-point shots on 63 percent efficiency in a ten-point win.

3. Nelle’s monster double-double leads DLSU to take Finals Game Two

With pressure at its highest, it was graduating floor general Evan Nelle whose contributions helped the Green Archers tie the series following the Game One defeat. Nelle, a seasoned champion in the NCAA, was often labeled as a choker in big games, but he proved his mastery as he took the reins and led DLSU to a mighty 22-point victory to force Game Three.

Despite shooting woes, Nelle did what he did best as he commanded the offense with 10 assists and corralled down 12 rebounds. Remarkably, he only committed one turnover but managed to steal the ball five times, which helped DLSU partner their suffocating defense with efficient offense on the other end. The veteran point guard finished Game Two with only four points, but his playmaking, rebounding, and defensive tenacity helped propel DLSU to championship heights.

2. Quiambao takes home the MVP trophy

At the end of UAAP Season 85, Kevin Quiambao took home the Rookie of the Year award as the definitive standout in the collegiate basketball scene. Fans and pundits were excited to witness what more he could achieve on the basketball court, curiously discussing the possibility of KO’s rise to superstardom.

This UAAP Season 86, he exceeded expectations, from both doubters and supporters, with his development in just one offseason. At the end of Round Two of the tournament, he averaged 16.7 points, 10.8 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 1.9 steals. En route to these averages, Quiambao recorded two historic triple-doubles, tallying 97 statistical points. The Muntinlupa native was crowned the Most Valuable Player award for the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

1. Green Archers complete comeback to lift the Championship

After Game One of the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball Finals, the DLSU Green Archers were shell-shocked after falling short by a historic thirty-point margin to the UP Fighting Maroons. The Taft-based squad remained unfazed by this, though, answering back with a 22-point victory in Game Two that leveled the series at one game apiece— exemplifying the Animo spirit and fortitude. It was an all-around effort for the team through standout performances from key role players like Francis Escandor, Joshua David, and Mark Nonoy. Then on equal footing and with the championship on the line, the hopeful Green Archers returned to the hardcourt for Game Three behind the Quiambao-Nelle powerhouse tandem who led the team to another title in a 72-69 win that went down to the wire. After seven turbulent and painful years, the Green Archers are champions once again.

Jaime de los Reyes

By Jaime de los Reyes

Diego Manzano

By Diego Manzano

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