La Salle ends UST streak, Ateneo wins four straight in UAAP women’s basketball
MANILA, Philippines — Heavy rains and strong winds didn’t stop the intensity of the UAAP Season 85 women’s basketball tournament as La Salle snapped University of Santo Tomas’ four-game win streak, while Ateneo earned its fourth consecutive victory over Adamson to boost their respective Final Four bids on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The UAAP canceled the men’s basketball and women’s badminton games on Sunday due to Tropical Storm Paeng but the women’s matches in the morning pushed through as scheduled as the rains battered Metro Manila and parts of the Philippines.
Fina Niantcho Tchuido came to the rescue for La Salle to avoid a fourth-quarter collapse after she put on the finishing touches to beat UST, 67-60, and force a tie at 6-2 in the standings behind unbeaten leader National University (7-0).
The Tigresses fought back from a 45-29 deficit with 8:18 remaining in the third quarter as Rocel Dionisio’s three-point play trimmed the lead to one, 59-58, in the final 2:21 of the match.
But Niantcho Tchuido sparked a 9-2 run to seal their win as she finished with nine points and 16 rebounds.
Joehanna Arciga led La Salle with 14 points, six boards, five assists, and three steals, while Lee Sario chipped in 11 points to bounce back from a 71-57 first-round loss to UST.
“We need to bounce back from our first round loss,” said Lady Archers coach Cholo Villanueva. “We corrected our mistakes. We needed to really want it this time around to get that win from UST. UST is the number two team so you need to play a near-perfect game to beat them.”
UST star Tacky Tacatac was held to just five points by La Salle’s defense but she dished out seven assists. Dionisio stepped up with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Eka Soriano had 10 points, six dimes, and five boards in the loss.
Meanwhile, Kacey Dela Rosa returned to action after missing two games due to illness and stretched Ateneo’s winning streak to four as it survived Adamson, 76-72.
Rookie Dela Rosa hardly missed a bit as she tallied 23 points, 23 rebounds, and two blocks on her comeback to tighten the hold of the Blue Eagles for the solo fourth place with an improved 5-3 record.
Ateneo staved off Adamson’s late rally as Victoria Adeshina, Cris Padilla, and Rose Ann Dampios trimmed an eight-point deficit into two, 74-72, with 43.5 seconds remaining but Adeshina’s potential game-tying jumper went off the mark with 10 ticks to go as the Blue Eagles skipper Jhazmin Joson sealed the win with two free throws.
Sandra Villacruz also led the Blue Eagles by pouring 11 of her 21 points in the fourth period, while Junize Calago added nine points.
“We’re very thankful we were able to survive Adamson. Again, we’re a young team, we’re still learning,” said Ateneo coach LA Mumar. “We’re getting better. We’re gonna shoot for that Final Four slot. We’re gonna fight and we’re gonna claw our way.”
Adamson suffered its fourth straight loss and slid to 2-6 in the sixth place despite Adeshina’s 27-point and 14-rebound performance. Dampios had 17 points, seven steals, and five boards.
The women’s teams, who braved the typhoon, were the only matches played at the Big Dome as the league decided to postpone the games when they were already playing.
La Salle (67) – Arciga 14, Sario 11, Niantcho Tchuido 9, Torres 6, Ahmed 6, De La Paz 6, Binaohan 5, Jimenez 3, Espinas 3, Dalisay 2, Camba 2.
UST (60) – Dionisio 17, Soriano 10, Bron 7, Ambos 6, Tacatac 5, Santos 5, Villasin 5, Danganan 3, Serrano 2, Pangilinan 0, Villapando 0.
Quarters: 22-15, 40-29, 53-43, 67-60.
Ateneo 76 — Dela Rosa 23, Villacruz 21, Calago 9, Joson 8, Eufemiano 5, Miranda 4, Makanjoula 4, Nieves 2, Cruza 0.
Adamson 72 — Adeshina 27, Dampios 17, Agojo 10, Flor 6, De la Cruz 2, Etang 2, Ornopia 0, Alaba 0, Catulong 0, Carcallas 0, Tano 0.
Quarters: 17-9, 39-27, 56-49, 76-72.
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