One big quarter. The Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles opened their match against the University of the East Lady Warriors with a 31-point first quarter blitzkrieg, and cruised their way to a 70-56 decision at the Mall of Asia Arena. The Lady Eagles’ starting point guard Sara Bo-ot orchestrated ADMU’s game-long dominance en route to joint team-high 10 points, on 4/5 shooting, with 4 assists. The Lady Warriors drew strong performances from Eunique Chan and Nicole Mendina, who each scored 15 points, but were unable to overcome a balanced Ateneo offense. The Lady Eagles climb to 5-5, which leaves them right in the middle of a 4-way dogfight with FEU, ADU and UST for playoff position. The 2-8 Lady Warriors remain mired near the bottom of the standings, above only winless UP.
Ateneo’s first quarter explosion was fuelled by remarkably well-distributed scoring. Sara Bo-ot and backcourt running mate Likha Javier scored 5 points apiece in the period, but more importantly, dished out a combined 4 assists to their energetic teammates. The Lady Eagles’ impressive passing and off-the-ball movement allowed 5 Eagles to score 4 or more points in the quarter, on a searing 66.7% shooting clip. ADMU superstar centre Danica Jose, who struggled with her shot all game long, bannered a stifling team defence that led to UE shooting a miserable 25% in the opening stanza. From there, the Lady Eagles held serve and cruised to a surprisingly easy victory.
Danica Jose finished with 10 points, albeit on a pedestrian 2/10 outing from the field, but also turned in a typically dominant 15 rebounds and 5 rejections. UE reserve Nicole Mendina sparkled throughout the match, dropping 15 points on an efficient 7 of 13 shots. The imposing yet startlingly dexterous Eunique Chan laboured against the towering Jose’s defence, but still managed to put up a near double-double of 15 points and 8 boards.