La Salle ends NU’s 108-game win streak in UAAP women’s basketball
MANILA, Philippines — La Salle shattered the longest winning streak in UAAP history as it handed National University’s first loss in nine seasons, 61-57, in overtime in the Season 85 women’s basketball tournament on Wednesday at UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.
Fina Tchuido powered the eight-man Lady Archers’ historic win with 14 points and 19 rebounds in 42 minutes of play to snap the Lady Bulldogs’ 108 consecutive victories.
La Salle was also the last squad to beat NU, 69-61, on October 5, 2013, in Game 3 of the Season 76 finals before the latter dominated and won six straight championships.
“My girls just wanted it more. They get all the credit today. They were the ones making the right decisions on defense, they were the ones making the right decisions on offense, they just didn’t want to let that ball let go from their hands, every time on every possession,” said Lady Archers coach Cholo Villanueva. “Every time they shoot their shoot, they shoot it with confidence so all the credit goes to my girls for one heck of a game.”
With 10.5 seconds remaining in the payoff period, La Salle was holding a 49-46 advantage after Lee Sario’s split free throws before Mikka Cacho forced overtime for NU, nailing a triple off a broken play.
The Lady Archers never wavered in the extra regulation as Sario sank a triple followed by two free throws from Charmine Torres for a 57-52 breather with 1:23 remaining.
Camille Clarin cut it down within two with a clutch triple. Betina Binaohan answered with a layup connecting to Sario’s clutch free throws for a 61-55 advantage with 43.4 seconds to go.
Edimo Tiky recovered a missed by Cacho to cut the deficit down to 61-57 with 23.2 ticks left but La Salle sealed the win to also force a traditional Final Four in women’s basketball for the first time since 2014.
“You need the perfect players, the perfect rotation to beat a perfect team. Of course, this wasn’t just eight players, they are 16 players — even 18 players in practices — that’s why these eight players did their job. Because these 18-strong players were doing their jobs in preparation for this game. So, it was a team effort,” said Villanueva, who will celebrate his birthday tomorrow.
Torres was also instrumental in La Salle’s shocking win with 13 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals, while Sario and Binaohan had 10 markers each to lift their team to the solo second seed with an 11-2 record.
NU dropped to 12-1 with Cacho leading the way with 12 points and 15 rebounds, while Angel Surada chipped in 11 markers and nine boards.
La Salle held Tin Cayabyab and Camille Clarin to seven points each, combining for 5-of-23 shooting, while Ann Pingol was limited to six markers on 3-of-8 shooting.
Earlier, MVP front-runner Eka Soriano posted 24 points, 11 assists, nine rebounds, and five steals to bring back University of Santo Tomas’ winning ways and send University of the Philippines to the brink of elimination, 85-52.
The Growling Tigresses bounced back from an 87-64 loss to the Lady Bulldogs to tighten their grip on the third seed with a 10-3 record.
UST led as many as 37 points in the payoff period as Tacky Tacatac fired four triples to finish with 24 points, while Rocel Dionisio and Nikki Villasin got 11 points each.
“I told the ladies that we need to win our last two games and hopefully force a tie with La Salle. That’s our goal at the end of the elimination round, to finish strong,” said UST coach Haydee Ong.
UP fell to a 5-8 record, losing control of its Final Four fate behind current No. 4 Ateneo, which it faces over the weekend.
Kaye Pesquera had 12 points for the Fighting Maroons, while Christie Bariquit and Acrissa Maw added 11 markers apiece.
UST 85 – Tacatac 24, Soriano 13, Dionisio 11, Villasin 11, Santos 7, Serrano 6, Araza 5, Bron 3, Pangilinan 3, Ambos 2, Villapando 0>
UP 52 – Pesquera 12, Bariquit 11, Maw 11, Tapawan 6, Vingno 5, Sanchez 3, Larrosa 2, Lebico 2, Domingo 0, Gonzales 0, Sauz 0, Lara 0, Rivera 0.
Quarters: 22-13, 49-25, 67-39, 85-52.
LA SALLE 61 – Tchuido 14, Torres 13, Sario 10, Binaohan 10, De La Paz 7, Jimenez 5, Arciga 2, Ahmed 0.
NU 57 – Cacho 12, Surada 11, Cayabyab 7, Clarin 7, Tiky 6, Pingol 6, Canuto 3, Solis 3, Fabruada 2, Bartolo 0, Betanio 0.
Quarters: 14-12, 32-25, 37-36, 49-49. 61-57