UAAP: La Salle, UST close in on Final Four in women’s basketball
MANILA, Philippines—Fina Niantcho Tchuido hit the game-winner as La Salle squeaked past Ateneo, 56-55, to secure at least a playoff for a Final Four spot in the UAAP Season 85 women’s basketball tournament on Sunday at UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.
The Cameroonian center scored with 11.9 seconds left off a brilliant pass by Charmine Torres underneath to complete their comeback from a 51-55 deficit in the final minute.
Jhazmin Joson missed the potential go-ahead shot for the Blue Eagles.
La Salle improved to 8-2 while sending Ateneo (5-5) to its second straight defeat.
Lee Sario sank a clutch triple that trimmed Ateneo’s lead down to one, 55-54, with 32.7 ticks to go before Niantcho Tchuido’s winner. Sario finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and three steals, while Torres had 11 points, seven boards, and two assists.
Joehanna Arciga added 11 points and nine boards while Niantcho Tchuido collected six points, eight rebounds, one steal, and one block.
Kaycee Dela Rosa was the lone bright spot for the Blue Eagles with 13 points, 18 rebounds, and five blocks.
University of Santo Tomas (8-2) also secured at least a playoff for a semis berth after fending off Adamson, 73-66, despite committing 34 turnovers.
MVP race leader Eka Soriano sank the crucial buckets down the stretch and finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and six steals to offset her 12 turnovers. Joylyn Pangilinan led the Tigresses with 17 points built off five triples, while Agatha Bron added 11 points and six boards.
“We have to work on our turnovers. We’ll keep working hard for the next few games,” said UST coach Haydee Ong after sending Adamson to a 3-7 record despite Victoria Adeshina’s 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Meanwhile, Annick Edimo Tiky and Karl Ann Pingol kept the semifinals-bound National University unbeaten in 10 games after dominating Far Eastern University, 80-53, for its 106th straight win.
Tiky posted 14 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks, as Pingol also scored 14 points and had 11 boards and six steals. Angel Surada added 12 points and nine rebounds.
“I’m asking them to be consistent basketball players,” NU coach Aris Dimaunahan said. “You can’t try to do too much when you’re leading. You should still play this game how it should be played from the start until the final buzzer.”
FEU slid to 2-8 despite the effort of Camille Taguiam, who had 20 points, nine rebounds, and four steals.
University of the Philippines (4-6) ousted winless University of the East (0-10), 67-32, behind the 15-point effort of Justine Domingo and Cindi Gonzales’ double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds.
NU bags Final Four ticket, La Salle and UST tie for 2nd in UAAP women’s basketball
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