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Archers get back at Maroons to force Game 3

MANILA, Philippines – Off to a do-or-die, we go. 

In front of 20,863 spectators, the La Salle Green Archers forced a Game 3 in the UAAP men's basketball finals after obliterating the UP Fighting Maroons in Game 2, 82-60, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday. 

La Salle used the middle quarters to run away for good and send the series to a rubber match. 

Trailing by three after the first quarter, 24-27, La Salle put the clamps on the Fighting Maroons in the second frame, making the Diliman-based cagers miss their first 11 field goals. 

The Green Archers allowed just two field goals in the quarter, outscoring their opponents 20-11, for the 44-38 lead. 

Rookie of the Year Francis Lopez completed an and-one play in the third quarter to cut a once 10-point La Salle lead to seven, 52-45. 

The Archers then unleashed a 13-4 run capped by back-to-back free throws by Joshua David to grab a 65-49 cushion heading to the final quarter. 

The lead grew to as much as 20 points, 71-51, following a JC Macalalag step-back jumper with seven minutes left in the game.

The Maroons tried to mount a comeback as they cut the lead to 15, 56-71. 

Evan Nelle, however, hit a pull-up jumper with 5:25 remaining for the dagger, 73-56. 

This is the third straight finals series in which UP won Game 1 and lost Game 2. 

Malick Diouf fouled out with 3:31 remaining in the game following a charge. He finished with a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds, as well as two blocks and a steal.

Game 3 is on Wednesday.