Defending champions the De La Salle University Lady Archers narrowly edged the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigresses, 69-63 dismantling a fourth quarter comeback to end a two-game skid.
Though the Tigresses closed out the first quarter with the 15-13, the squad from Taft avenue would bounce back strong in the second period, holding their opponents to 5 points while managing to produce 18 points themselves and take a 31-20 lead heading into the second half. La Salle’s scoring barrage would continue well into the third quarter, taking a 42-27 lead in the midway through the quarter.
However, a UST rally sparked by Jen Angeles and Lore Rivera would bring the Tigresses back to life. With little over a minute remaining in the quarter, the Tigresses had trimmed La Salle’s lead to 44-40. However, a three from Alyanna Ong and a last second layup by Inna Corcuerra would put La Salle up by nine points, 49-40, heading into the fourth quarter.
A fiery fourth quarter would see the two squads trade baskets, with Rivera and Angeles leading the charge for UST, and Cass Santos exploding for La Salle. UST’s Clarice Magdaluyo and La Salle’s Alyanna Ong would also keep the threes raining in the quarter. Though UST’s shooting had returned to form, the Tigresses were unable to find a way to cull the Lady Archers’ scoring. La Salle had built a 66-59 lead heading into the final two minutes, and UST would be given a chance to mount a last minute push after La Salle turnovers kept UST’s hopes alive in the final minute. Lore Rivera would hit a fastbreak layup to put UST to 61-66. Another UST bucket would cut the lead to 63-66 in the next play. With UST in possession with less than a minute remaining, Alyanna Ong would steal the ball from UST and dash to La Salle’s court for the quick layup but was fouled. Ong would hit both freethrows, putting La Salle up by 68-63 with 13 seconds remaining, securing the victory for the Lady Archers.
Camille Claro led the scoring for La Salle with 15 points, along with 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 6 steals all off the bench. Jen Angeles and Lore Rivera meanwhile led UST with 17 points apiece. The Lady Archers climb to 7-2, while UST fall to 4-5.