UAAP Finals: What was on UP rookie Francis Lopez’s arm in Game 1?
MANILA, Philippines—There was something different about University of the Philippines’ Francis Lopez in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 86 Finals against La Salle.
Lopez wore his usual accessories under his jersey but a black armband was seen on his left arm; something that hasn’t been seen in his arm for the entire season.
However, it wasn’t a symbol to commemorate any events. It was something essential.
Under said armband was a monitoring device that monitored his sugar levels during the game, Lopez revealed.
“My sugar gets low so I got some device here [in the band]. I have to check it sometimes and I just have to check my sugar gets low and I feel dizzy,” said the consensus Rookie of the Year after their 97-67 win over the Green Archers at Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday.
“We even got the PT (physical therapist) out there giving me some candies. I was taking it during the game.”
For such a huge game this far into the tournament, Lopez’s health is a point of concern. Every match from here on out is for all the marbles, after all.
But Lopez didn’t play like there was something bothering him as he held his own as a man among boys in the paint with a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds.
He did these against the pair of MVP Kevin Quiambao and Mike Philips guarding the rim like a national treasure.
“It’s the Finals so we really have to fight hard on the boards. You know they got big guys but we were hungrier than them and we’re glad we got this one and we’ll focus on the next one.”
But Lopez didn’t take all the pieces of the cake for himself alone.
He credited his teammate for preparing him for the bright lights of the UAAP Finals in his debut in the league’s grandest stage.
“They [teammates] were there for me, always. They always talk to me, especially the coaches. We talk about what’s going to happen because they’ve been there. It’s my first time coming here in the UAAP Finals, I know there’s big crowds and everything but I want to thank them for this one. Hopefully, we get our mindset right for the next game and finish the season.”
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Lopez and co. have a chance to finish their story when they face the Green Archers anew on Sunday at Araneta Coliseum.
UP coach Goldwin Monteverde, Francis Lopez, and Harold Alarcon after dominating La Salle in Game 1. #UAAPSeason86
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Wednesday, November 29, 2023