Defending champions De La Salle University Lady Archers inch one game closer to securing a final four spot and resuming their defense of the women’s basketball after routing archrivals Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles, 53-37, Sunday afternoon at the Blue Eagle Gym on the Eagles’ home turf.
The Lady Archers dominated their rivals, holding the Lady Eagles to a woeful two points in the first quarter while scoring fourteen. Ateneo’s Akiko Tomita would rally Ateneo at the start of the second quarter, sinking three consecutive baskets to bring the score to 14-8 and kickstart Ateneo’s stagnating offense. Though the Lady Eagles would finally find their touch, La Salle would still go on to outscore them 11-10 in the quarter, getting much needed help from sweet-shooting Cass Santos, to take the 25-12 lead heading into the second half.
Ateneo’s Danica Jose would also begin to pull together in the third quarter after being held to two points in the first half. Jose would lead another Ateneo rally that would cut down the Lady Archers’ lead to 26-33 in the late third quarter. With a minute and a half remaining in the period, La Salle’s Trisha Piatos hit back-to-back three pointers to boost La Salle to a 41-27 lead, erasing the fruits of Ateneo’s rally earlier in the quarter. Jose would manage to sink one more basket just as time expired to bring the score to 41-29.
La Salle, still fired up by their late-third quarter counterassault, would remain in top form, with the Lady Archers’ getting the shots to fall jumper after jumper. The Lady Eagles meanwhile found themselves struggling to find the easy basket once more, only managing to bag six points in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter. A three-point trey from Camille Claro would put the Lady Archers up by 51-36 with three and a half minutes on the clock. Though both the Lady Archers and Lady Eagles would struggle to get the shots to fall in the last three minutes of the quarter, it was Lady Archers who walk away with the W.
Trisha Piatos led La Salle with 15 points, 2 rebounds, and 4 assists, while Cass Santos had 14 points, including 10 in the first half alone. Danica Jose had 14 points and 12 boards for Ateneo. The Lady Archers climb to 8-2 in the standings, clinging to solo second. Ateneo’s bid for a semi-final slot meanwhile hits a serious setback, as the Lady Eagles fall to 4-5.