De La Salle University was tested until the final buzzer but pulled out some decisive stops to win a squeaker over Ateneo de Manila University, 44-43 Wednesday in the UAAP Season 78 women’s basketball tournament at the Blue Eagle Gym.
The Lady Archers zoomed to its fourth straight victory, improving to 4-1 overall. The Lady Eagles in contrast succumbed to 1-4 in the team standings.
La Salle built a 30-23 edge in the third quarter after a Margarita Dadagan trey, although back to back baskets by Danica Jose and a floater by Hazelle Yam made it 30-29.
From there it was a back and forth tussle with La Salle holding on to a 39-34 lead heading into the final quarter.
A jumper by Benette Revillosa extended the Taft squad’s margin to 41-35, but Jose and Yam once again scored a basket each to pull the Loyola side to 39-41.
Alyanna Vergara hit a clutch triple after, followed by baskets from Jose and Yam which made the count 44-43.
Teams worked on defense after that point, covering the rim as both sides struggled to buy a field goal.
Turnovers by Camille Claro and Ara Abaca inside of the final two minutes gave Ateneo several chances but Yam, Akiko Tomita, and Caramia Buendia all missed their attempts down the wire.
With 10.5 ticks left, Vergara was fouled but muffed both charities, leaving the door open for the Lady Eagles. Tomita grabbed the rebound and threw an outlet pass but was intercepted by Ana Castillo.
Alyanna Ong was fouled with only 0.5 seconds in regulation, but was called for a free throw violation.
In the final play, Claire Aseron’s inbounds pass was tapped away as time ran out for Ateneo.
Castillo led the Lady Archers with 11 points including 50 percent from three-point area. Snow Penaranda added 6 points and hauled down a game-high 16 rebounds.
Jose paced the Lady Eagles with another double-double of 14 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 blocks.
La Salle’s outside sniping (8-for-32) proved to be a big difference as it countered the Ateneo zone. The latter in contrast, shot only 1-for-7 from three-point area.
La Salle (44) – Castillo 11, Claro 8, Dagdagan 6, Penaranda 5, Abaca 4, Vergara 3, Revillosa 3, Ong 2, Roxas 2, Figueroa 0, Gonzales 0, Vela 0.
Ateneo (43) – Jose 14, Yam 9, Javier 5, Buendia 4, Go 3, Aseron 2, Tomita 2, Deacon 2, Guytingco 2, Nitorreda 0, Posadas 0, Payac 0, Moslares 0, Newsome 0.
Quarterscores: 16-10, 27-21, 39-35, 44-43.
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