The De La Salle University Lady Archers secured the twice-to-beat advantage at the UAAP women’s basketball Final Four after overpowering the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons, 62-40 Wednesday morning at the Araneta Coliseum.
Led by Bea Daez’s hot shooting, the Lady Maroons were able to erase a dismal first half to close in on the defending champions by the end of the first half, 28-24. Daez sank 15 of her 19 points in the first half, leading a UP squad that struggled offensively throughout the game.
UP’s shooting woes would return in the third quarter, as the squad from Katipunan would only manage to sink six more points. La Salle’s second stringers would come up big in the third quarter, helping the squad from Taft Avenue outscore the Lady Maroons 13-6 to head into the final period of the ballgame with a 41-30 edge.
The Lady Archers’ scoring would come alive once more to start the fourth quarter, with Jonah Mellendres and Camile Claro sinking big shots to usher in the final period. With UP’s scorers going cold and La Salle’s second-stringers chipping in basket after basket for the defending champs, the Lady Archers would lead by twenty with three minutes remaining in the quarter, 56-36, a lead the Lady Maroons would fail to trim in the final minutes.
Jonah Mellendres led La Salle with 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals. UP’s Bea Daez had 10 rebounds to go with her 19 points. With the win, La Salle climb to 10-2, securing a final four berth and the twice-to-beat advantage.