UST ends UAAP women’s basketball finals drought, ousts FEU
MANILA, Philippines—University of Santo Tomas broke its 13-year finals curse, holding off Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws, 76-65, in the stepladder semifinals of the UAAP Season 82 women’s basketball tournament Saturday.
The Growling Tigresses made it to their finals appearance since 2006 when they won the title with coach Peque Tan. They will face unbeaten National U for the crown.
UST held what seemed to be an insurmountable lead of 22 points, 43-21, heading into the half but the Lady Tamaraws made a late run in the fourth cutting the Growling Tigresses’ margin to five, 70-65, with 2:20 left.
Defense, however, worked late for the Growling Tigresses with Eka Soriano intercepting Choy Bahuyan’s pass to Fatima Quiapo in the final minute of the game.
Soriano and Season MVP Grace Irebu then iced the game from the line.
“We waited for three years for this to happen,” said UST head coach Haydee Ong. “The program has no shortcut. You have to work for it and finally, we’re in the finals.”
“This is a tribute to the Thomasian community and to everyone who supported us along the way.”
Irebu led all scorers with 28 points while grabbing 14 rebounds to lead UST.
Lon Rivera, who had just three points in the first game, added 13 points while Eka Soriano added 11 points.
Val Mamaril had 23 points and four rebounds to lead the Lady Tamaraws.