UAAP: UST back in women's basketball Finals, knocks off UP | Inquirer Sports

UAAP: UST back in women’s basketball Finals, knocks off UP

/ 02:57 PM November 25, 2023

Kent Pastrana UST UAAP Season 86

Kent Pastrana celebrates in UST’s win over UP to reach the UAAP Season 86 women’s basketball Finals.–UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — University of Santo Tomas ended a four-year Finals drought to forge a best-of-three title series against defending champion National University in the UAAP Season 86 women’s basketball tournament.

UST refused to commit another late-game collapse as it staved off gritty University of the Philippines, 87-83, in their Final Four rubber match on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.


Kent Pastrana scored a putback off Brigette Santos’ missed layup from her steal to give UST an 86-77 cushion with 56.7 seconds left.


UP never gave up as Favour Onoh sparked a late 6-0 run to trim it to just three, 86-83 in the final 15 seconds of the match.

But the Tigresses made the crucial stops with Santos’ 1-of-2 trip from the free throw line with 5.3 ticks left sealing the win.

“I already received a memo so I will not comment on officiating. I would just like to commend my team who really worked hard for this finals appearance. It’s a team effort. Everyone worked hard from start to finish,” said UST coach Haydee Ong.

“And I will not take away also (from) the UP Fighting Lady Maroons for giving us a good fight. They always make us better as a team, commend to them. That’s it. We have to prepare for NU next week.”

Pastrana led the balanced attack of the Tigresses with 18 points on 4-of-6 three-point shooting to go with five rebounds. Santos delivered 14 points and five steals. Nikki Villasin had 12 points. Tantoy Ferrer flirted with a triple-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists, while Tacky Tacatac also scored 11 points.

UST Golden Tigresses

UST Golden Tigresses celebrate after beating the UP Fighting Maroons in the UAAP Season 86 women’s basketball Final Four.–UAAP PHOTO

“We’re grateful for this opportunity to take on NU in the Finals. We will give our best until we get a win. We will continue to trust each other and as veterans, we will set the tone [for the team] as we continue to stick to the system. We will fight until the end,” said Pastrana in Filipino as they battle the Lady Bulldogs, who are going for their eighth consecutive crown, on Wednesday in Game 1 at Mall of Asia Arena.


Seeking to bounce back from their 88-80 loss to UP in overtime last Wednesday, UST set the tempo with an efficient 14-of-18 shooting in the opening quarter for a 36-27 lead. 

The Tigresses blew a 17-point lead late in the third quarter after the Fighting Maroons unleashed a 13-0 run capped by Kaye Pesquera’s split free throws to cut it down to four, 67-63, but Rocel Dionisio restored the order, powering a 7-3 run to regain a 10-point lead, 76-66, heading into the final period.

UP placed third in the season as Onoh’s 21-point and 14-rebound effort couldn’t stop UST from making its second Finals appearance in the past three stagings of women’s basketball.

Pesquera had 20 points for the Fighting Maroons. Achrissa Maw chipped in 15 points and six rebounds, while Ozar, who exploded for 25 points in Game 1, was limited to 13 points and four assists.

The scores:

UST (87) – Pastrana 18, Santos 14, Villasin 12, Ferrer 11, Tacatac 11, Soriano 9, Dionisio 6, Bron 3, Danganan 3, Maglupay 0, Serrano 0.

UP (83) – Onoh 21, Pesquera 20, Maw 15, Ozar 13, Bariquit 11, Domingo 3, Sanchez 0, Vingno 0, Tapawan 0, Lozada 0.

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Quarterscores: 36-27, 56-47, 74-66, 87-83

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

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