By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers pulled off a huge comeback to nip the Adamson University Soaring Falcons, 21-18, in the gold medal match of the UAAP Season 85 men’s 3×3 basketball finals last May 4, 2023.
DLSU was huge in the most crucial stretch of the championship game and came back from five points down to be crowned as the kings of the UAAP 3×3.
CJ Austria became the squad’s main man and was the key to their final stretch rally to finish with nine points and three rebounds.
Adamson raced to a dominant start after clinching an early 9-4 advantage led by the offense of Didat Hanapi who was just man-handling DLSU’s shaded lane.
Just when the Soaring Falcons thought they already figured out the Green Archers’ sets, Austria then responded for DLSU and started to score easily with his shifty isolation moves.
After Austria sparked the Green Archers, former Gilas Pilipinas stalwart Kevin Quiambao fired up DLSU with a series of jump hooks that put them up midway through the game.
With Quiambao heating up, Adamson’s Hanapi was then neutralized after he was forced to play more defense than scoring the ball.
Quiambao finished the gold medal match with five points, 10 rebounds, and the two biggest blocks of the game down the stretch for the Green Archers.
“Totally, hindi namin inexpect na magchachampion kami kasi bago pa lang kami nagtraining ng 3×3. Blessing na nag-champion kami at nakuha ko pa yung MVP,” said Austria after the win.
After the 3×3 victory, both Austria and Quiambao will be gearing up for the 5×5 UAAP men’s basketball tournament as they are a part of the rotation of head coach Topex Robinson.