Inspired by a monumental win over Ateneo de Manila University last Thursday, the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons kept their hot streak going with a spirited effort to beat the University of the East, 46-45 Sunday at the Blue Eagle Gym.
Bea Daez led the Lady Maroons’ offense while Tin Aliermo made crucial stops towards the end as UP won their third straight game in the UAAP Season 78 women’s basketball tournament.
The Lady Maroons improved with a 3-7 record overall, a full game behind Far Eastern University (2-8). The Lady Warriors dropped, 4-6, to sixth place.
UP’s impeccable defense hounded UE and prevented the latter from scoring easy baskets inside. UP limited UE to only 3 points after the opening quarter.
Later on, a triple by Pat Pesquera opened a 16-8 lead, although back-to-back baskets by Bianca Ramos and a triple by Cherry Ano-os capped a 9-2 UE run as they closed the first half trailing by only 1, 18-17.
Threes by Christine Isip and Pesquera increased the gap to 24-17 for the Lady Maroons early in the third, but the Lady Warriors’ defensive press snatched the lead back, 28-26.
Daez managed to score 7 straight to end the quarter and keep UP ahead, 35-34. Ano-os and Eunique Chan led the UE charge to keep the Recto side within touching distance.
It was an exciting exchange in the final period, with Ano-os’ and-one play tying the score at 41 apiece. Baskets by Daez and Pesquera gave UP a 45-41 cushion before Ruthlaine Tacula responded, 45-43.
After a Marika Esplana split which pushed UP to 46-43, both sides missed baskets in the final two minutes. A missed three by Daez with 40 seconds left gave UE an opening, although Love Joy Sto. Domingo missed a jumper at other end.
Aliermo grabbed the rebound with only 18.1 left and was fouled. She missed both free throws but made up for it by forcing a jump ball in the last 3.1 seconds.
The Lady Maroons turned the ball over on the inbound play, leaving the Lady Warriors with one final chance. But Aliermo stole the inbound pass to seal the win for the Diliman cagers.
Daez had 13 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists to lead UP, while Therese Medina and Pesquera added 11 and 10 markers respectively. Aliermo added 9 rebounds and 3 steals, taking charge while Janeena Tatel, who was taking the NMAT, was not around.
Ano-os emerged top scorer for the Lady Warriors with 20 points although she shot 7-for-22 from the field. The entire UE team struggled, shooting only 23.8 percent overall.
UP (46) – Daez 13, Medina 11, Pesquera 10, Isip 5, Aliermo 4, Esplana 2, Ordoveza 1, Rodas 0, Tan 0, Franco 0.
UE (45) – Ano-os 20, Chan 6, Sto. Domingo 6, Francisco 5, Tacula 4, Ramos 4, Mendina 0, Nama 0, Gayacao 0, Taguiam 0, Bale 0.
Quarterscores: 11-3, 18-17, 35-34, 46-45.