Tantoy Ferrer shows heart and soul in UST title run after ACL injury
MANILA, Philippines — Tantoy Ferrer just proved why she was University of Santo Tomas’ heart and soul.
With the Growling Tigresses trailing, Ferrer willed his team back as UST pulled off a dramatic 71-69 win to shatter National University’s dream of an eighth straight title on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 86 women’s basketball tournament.
Ferrer gave everything she had in her swansong, finishing with 19 points and 14 rebounds to be hailed Finals MVP. She unleashed nine straight points down the stretch that paved the way for Nikki Villasin’s title-clinching layup with 11.9 ticks to go.
“I was motivated because it was the first time that a lot showed up to support the UST community. That’s why I kept telling my teammates, my sisters that: ‘Girls, we must play as one and show them that it’s worth it to watch women’s basketball and not just men’s basketball or women’s volleyball’,” said Ferrer, who finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds in Game 3, in Filipino
We needed to show that women’s basketball is also worth watching.”
Ferrer, who was coming off an ACL injury, averaged 15.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.3 steals in the finals.
“It seemed impossible because I was coming off an ACL injury and here I was fighting for the championship and even got a bonus Finals MVP,” Ferrer said.
“I’m really grateful. Coach kept telling me that I could still compete despite the ACL because they saw that I worked hard every day to come back. I underwent rehab and I was reduced to watching them play. That’s what motivated my to give everything I have since the first time I returned to training. Just go all out and give my 100 percent.”
“And this was the result. This was the reward after coming back from an ACL injury. We were able to get the crown back to España,” she added.
UST coach Haydee Ong praised Ferrer’s resiliency and leadership after making their comeback possible and return to women’s basketball glory.
“Tantoy was a leader, she was the heart and soul when we were making our comeback and that’s what I told Tantoy. During the second game, she was under the weather with flu but she still played for us. I just told her, Toy, I need you on Wednesday. I told her, you have to suit up because we can’t win without you,” said Ong.
Ferrer attributed the team’s success to her coach, who trusted her to be part of UST back in 2018.
“We can’t leave UST without winning a championship for you, coach. Thank you, coach because we were able to bring the crown back to España. We went through a lot and you did not let me be on my own. You kept your faith in me.”