UAAP: UP beats UST in OT, forces rubber match for women's finals berth | Inquirer Sports

UAAP: UP beats UST in OT, forces rubber match for women’s finals berth

/ 03:15 PM November 22, 2023

Favour Onoh and Louna Ozar lead UP Fighting Maroons to Final Four win over twice-to-beat UST.

Favour Onoh and Louna Ozar lead UP Fighting Maroons to Final Four win over twice-to-beat UST. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — University of the Philippines leaned on star rookie Louna Ozar and Favour Onoh to overcome the twice-to-beat University of Santo Tomas in overtime, 88-80, and force a rubber match in the UAAP Season 86 women’s basketball tournament on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena. 

Ozar kept the Fighting Maroons afloat in overtime, scoring six points to give them a nine-point lead, 85-76, with 1:54 remaining.  The Growling Tigresses cut it down to five 85-80 after Kent Pastrana’s triple and Brigette Santos’ split free throws, before Kaye Pesquera nailed the dagger trey at the 30.9-second mark to purge the twice-to-beat edge of UST.


Filipino-French guard Ozar finished with 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting to go with three assists, three rebounds, and two steals as UP  forced a do-or-die clash set for Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. The winner faces defending champion National University Lady Bulldogs in a best-of-three Finals series next week.


“It’s all about the support of the team. Everybody cheer each other and this energy [boosts us],” said Filipino-French rookie Ozar.

UP Fighting Maroons' Louna Ozar.

UP Fighting Maroons’ Louna Ozar. –MARLO CUETO/

Onoh, who celebrated her 18th birthday, delivered 14 points and tallied a league-record 30 rebounds as UP won its first Final Four game since 2008 when the school last reached the Finals against the same team with a twice-to-beat advantage.

“Today is my birthday, and I dedicate this game to them because it’s a special day today. I’m very much excited that we won this game and also, we should not give up the momentum to face our next game,” said an emotional Onoh, who also had four assists, three steals, and two blocks.

Pesquera had five three-pointers to finish with 19 points on top of six rebounds and three steals, while Rhea Sanchez had 12 points.

UP needed to overcome a  45-25 deficit in the second quarter, unleashing a 21-0 run capped by Onoh’s bank shot to take the lead, 46-45, with seven minutes to play in the third. 

The Fighting Maroons coach Paul Ramos reminded his team that the job is not yet done, eyeing to reach the Finals for the first time in 15 years.


“We’re gonna celebrate this today and [go] back to work tomorrow because all of it will not make sense if on Saturday we don’t show up. I’m just proud of what we have achieved so far. We’re taking one game at a time, I’m really proud of all the girls including the birthday girl and Louna,” said Ramos.

Pastrana’s 29-point explosion for UST went for naught including her 11 rebounds, four assists, and four steals as they failed to advance to the Finals in their first Final Four game. Tacky Tacatac had 12 points and five assists, while Santos and Nikki Villasin added nine points each.

UP coach Paul Ramos, Louna Ozar, and Favour Onoh on forcing a rubber match against UST in the #UAAPSeason86 women’s basketball Final Four.

Posted by Inquirer Sports on Tuesday, November 21, 2023

The Scores:

UP (88) – Ozar 25, Pesquera 19, Onoh 14, Sanchez 12, Domingo 9, Tapawan 6, Maw 2, Bariquit 1, Lozada 0, Vingno 0.

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UST (80) – Pastrana 29, Tacatac 12, Santos 9, Villasin 9, Ferrer 7, Maglupay 4, Danganan 3, Dionisio 3, Soriano 2, Ambos 2, Bron 0, Ly 0, Serrano 0.

Quarterscores: 21-22, 38-45, 59-54, 72-72, 88-80

TAGS: UAAP Season 86, UP Fighting Maroons, ust growling tigresses

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