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UAAP: Foul incident, not MVP award, knocks Malick Diouf out of his game in UP loss


UP Center and UAAP Season 85 MVP Malick Diouf in Game 2 of the UAAP Men's Basketball Finals.  –UAAP PHOTO

UP Center and UAAP Season 85 MVP Malick Diouf in Game 2 of the UAAP Men’s Basketball Finals. –UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Newly crowned MVP Malick Diouf insists he is undeterred by his personal top prize after fighting for the University of the Philippines in Game 2 of the UAAP Men’s Basketball Finals on Wednesday .

Fighting Maroons’ title celebration was ruined by Ateneo’s 65-55 victory that forced one person to win it all for the championship that same night Diouf officially received the MVP plum.

“No. I’ve always believed that I’m still Malick,” said Diouf, who was limited to two points after only firing two shots, and won 11 rebounds.

The 6-foot-11 center back, who is also a member of the legendary UAAP Season 85 team, said his fouls left him struggling in front of 20,616 fans at the Big Dome.

“The start was fine but in the second half, especially for me, it was easy for me to foul twice. We just have to catch up,” said Diouf. “It really affects me, the way I play. I was thinking I lost control but it happened. We just need to make sure we compose.

“I just need to care about how I play. I have to be more focused,” he added.

After UP failed to complete a sweep, the Season 84 Finals MVP remained confident they could still pull off a win. Second consecutive historic title for UP in a year.

“I’m pretty sure we’ll still win the championship if we play the right way. If we play right, we win. We just need to play together,” he said.

UP and Ateneo clash for all the marbles on Monday at the same venue.

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