UAAP: UP ends Final Four drought, UST also makes cut in women’s basketball
MANILA, Philippines — University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas booked their tickets to the Final Four after separate blowout wins in the UAAP Season 86 women’s basketball tournament on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
UP finally broke through after a 15-year Final Four dry spell following a 70-55 romp of Far Eastern University, solidifying its spot in second place with an improved 9-2 record.
Kaye Pesquera led the collective effort of the Fighting Maroons with 17 points, seven rebounds, and three steals, while Christie Bariquit, Achrissa Maw, and Rizza Lozada had 11 points each.
“Our goal this year is to reach the Final Four. My happiness is short-lived because, after today, we’re already targeting our next game,” said UP coach Paul Ramos.
“I feel that with the belief of all the players and the community, we’re really going to try to get the most out of this season, and I feel we will be underperforming if we’re only aiming for the Final Four.”
FEU slid to seventh place with a 3-8 record after absorbing its third straight loss despite Josee Kaputu’s 20-point and nine-rebound effort.
Meanwhile, UST became the third team to reach the Final Four this season after a wire-to-wire 103-54 win over University of the East behind the efforts of Kent Pastrana and Brigette Santos, who scored 17 and 16 points, respectively.
Rachelle Ambos was also instrumental for the Growling Tigresses with 14 points. Nikki Villasin delivered 11 points, while Tantoy Ferrer added 10 points and eight rebounds as they improved to an 8-3 record in third place, entering the post-elimination for the fifth straight time.
“We didn’t look at the score actually. We just wanted to execute what I taught them in practice and I’m happy that they did it,” said UST coach Haydee Ong. “If it’s a bounce-back game, I think this is the statement of my players from their tough loss against NU.”
The also-ran UE remained winless in 11 games with its 34th straight loss.
Defending champion National University, the first team to punch a ticket to the Final Four, leaned on Jainaba Konateh’s best game with 17 points and 17 rebounds to send La Salle to the brink of elimination, 73-64.
The Lady Bulldogs kept the top spot at 10-1, winning their eighth consecutive game.
“It’s one of our games that we cannot find a groove consistently. That was the challenge right before the tip-off, for us to find some consistency in our game,” NU coach Aris Dimaunahan said. “Jainaba I guessed was the only big of us that was not in foul trouble… I’m just glad Jainabah didn’t have foul trouble this morning today. She played her role of getting the rebounds and trying to score if she had the opportunity.”
The Lady Archers fell to 4-7, needing to win all of their remaining games, while hoping for the Ateneo Blue Eagles to drop all of their matches for a chance to enter the Final Four.
Ateneo inched a win closer to a Final Four berth after Jhazmin Joson erupted for a season-high 32 points to beat Adamson, 69-61.
Joson fired eight triples to go with five rebounds, five assists, a steal, and a block in 37 minutes and 15 seconds of action as the Blue Eagles tightened their grip on the fourth seed with a 7-4 record. Kacey
Dela Rosa finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks, while Sarah Makanjuola tallied 10 points and 20 rebounds.
Adamson bombed out of contention with a 3-8 record.