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Go drops 28 as Ateneo nips UE to stay alive

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Needing a spark out of their usual go-to players, the Ateneo de Manila University got an extra boost from Jollina Go who exploded for 28 points as the Lady Eagles edged University of the East, 66-62 Sunday in the UAAP Season 78 women’s basketball tournament at the Blue Eagle Gym.

Go led all scorers after dropping 28 points, including 16 in the first half, to lead the Lady Eagles. Go shot 6-for-8 from downtown and 11-for-14 overall.

But it wasn’t until the fourth period where the Lady Eagles secured the victory, as the Lady Warriors fought it out on the defensive end.

Ateneo built a 28-15 lead in the first half as Go was running hot, scoring a personal 10-0 run to end the first quarter. But UE fought back, with its guards attacking the paint repeatedly for high-percentage baskets. An and-one play by Eunique Chan and a drive by Ruthlaine Tacula gave the Lady Warriors the lead, 36-34.

From there it was a nip-and-tuck battle as both sides kept exchanging blows. Six straight from Go in the fourth quarter tied the count at 57 apiece, while a split from Akiko Tomita made it 58-57 for Ateneo.

Chery Ano-os hit a drive but Go responded with a fastbreak basket to keep Ateneo on top, 60-59.

A high-low play to Cara Buendia extended the margin to 63-60 although Tacula answered right away, 63-62 with 1:04 left.

Later, Tacula was foiled by Go which led to a jump ball. Ateneo gained possession and Jose scored the decisive basket in the final 18.2 seconds.

Both teams now have 5-7 records and are tied 4th and 5th in the tight race for the remaining Final Four spots.

Cara Buendia added 13 points and 8 rebounds for the Lady Eagles, which shot 60 percent from three-point area and had a 37-28 lead in bench points.

Ano-os had 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists for the Lady Warriors while Chan and Tacula both chipped in 12 apiece.

Scores:

Ateneo (66) – Go 28, Buendia 13, Jose 9, Lamar 4, Yam 3, Deacon 3, Nitorreda 2, Guytingco 2, Posadas 1, Tomita 1, Javier 0, Newsome 0, Aseron 0.

UE (62) – Ano-os 17, Chan 12, Tacula 12, Mendina 5, Sto. Domingo 5, Francisco 5, Ramos 2, Taguiam 2, Gayacao 2.

Quarterscores: 16-12, 34-31, 50-51, 66-62.

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