The University of the East swept the UAAP eliminations as expected but not before getting roughed up by the highly-determined De La Salle Green Archers. With the score tied at 16 in the opening canto, De La Salle forward Rico Maierhofer landed a hard foul on UE forward Mark Borboran. Mark Fampulme came to his teammate’s aid and confronted Maierhofer on the De La Salle bench, which sparked a verbal and shoving incident among players of both sides.
De La Salle forward Bryan Ilad rose from the bench to plant a solid punch at the back of Fampulmeâ€™s head which turned the game almost into a melee. Ilad was later ejected from the game while technical fouls were handed out to Fampulme, Maierhofer and the benches of both teams.
Fampulme made the Green Archers pay as he buried a turnaround jumper in the crucial stretch of the game to give the Warriors the win 92-84 in overtime, and a spot in the UAAP Finals.
The Warriorsâ€™ historic 14-0 sweep matches the record held by University of Sto. Tomas who were crowned UAAP Champions in 1993, just a year before the league adopted the Final Four format.
The Warriors will take a much needed respite as they await for their finals opponent which may come among the Green Archers, the Ateneo Blue Eagles, and either UST Growling Tigers or the surprising Far Eastern University Tamaraws, which defeated the Tigers 84-73 to forged a playoff showdown for the fourth spot.
â€œWe took things one game at a time. Thatâ€™s our secret in completing the sweep,â€ said UE mentor Dindo Pumaren
â€œBut itâ€™s still not over. We have the finals to worry about.â€
UE (92) — Thiele 16, Martinez 13, Arellano 11, Borboran 11, Gregorio 10, Llagas 10, Fampulme 7, Lee 6, Espiritu 5, Lingganay 3, Bandaying 0, CaÃ±izares 0.
DLSU (84) — Casio 22, Tang 16, Malabes 12, Villanueva 9, Maierhofer 9, Mangahas 6, Walsham 6, Co 4, Atkins 0, Ferdinand 0, Lee 0, Ilad 0, Cua 0.
Quarterscores: 22-16; 45-44; 58-62; 77-77 (reg); 92-84.