The University of Santo Tomas used a stellar second half barrage to down the De La Salle University Lady Archers, 76-47, and finish the first round on a three-game win streak Saturday in the UAAP Season 82 Women’s Basketball Tournament at Mall of Asia Arena.
Last season’s MVP Grace Irebu once again got things done on the paint, firing 36 points and 20 rebounds for the Golden Tigresses.
Her brilliance allowed UST to wiggle out of a tight 33-30 halftime affair. They then leaned on a 22-7 third quarter to pull away, 55-37, and cruise to the 29-point rout.
“I think it was yung defense namin. We contained La Salle in the third and fourth,” said coach Haydee Ong. “I told the ladies na whatever happens to this game, win or lose, the effort should be there.”
But it wasn’t all Irebu, since the Golden Tigresses’ supporting cast also came to play, much to the delight of Ong.
Lon Rivera poured 10 points and three rebounds. Tacky Tacatac scored all of her nine points in the third quarter, while hauling down five boards.
“Sinabi ko sa kanila na medyo nakukulangan pa ako sa ibang players namin. We cannot win by just Grace, Grace is not UST. UST is the whole team and everybody should contribute. In this game, na-prove naman ng players na we are the UST team,” said the stern mentor.
UST rose to a 5-2 record for solo second, but Ong acknowledges that the journey just gets harder from here.
“Of course, we’re happy that we’re in the upper bracket now. But the second round will be a tougher round for us, so we have to work harder to stay in the Final Four,” she said.
Kent Pastrana led La Salle with 13 points and five rebounds, but she also committed six turnovers.
Bennette Revillosa also scored 13 points and grabbed four boards for the Lady Archers (3-4).
UST 76 — Irebu 36, Rivera 10, Tacatac 9, Soriano 5, Ferrer 4, Panti 4, Portillo 4, Gandalla 2, Sangalang 2, Callangan 0, Gonzales 0, Javier 0.
DLSU 47 — Pastrana 13, Revillosa 13, Sario 6, Paraiso 5, Torres 3, Camba 2, Del Campo 2, Okoli 2, Quingco 1, Binaohan 0, Castillo 0, Dalisay 0, Espinas 0, Malarde 0.
Quarterscores: 20-12, 33-30, 55-37, 76-47.