The Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws secured a spot in the UAAP Season 77 women’s basketball post-season after routing the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles 45-34, Sunday at the UST gym.
The cagers from Katipunan would dominate the first quarter, shutting down the Tamaraws’ taller inside personnel. With FEU’s go-to inside force Claire Castro unable to find her touch, the Lady Eagles would go on to outscore the Lady Tamaraws 14-9 to close out the quarter.
The second quarter however would signal a massive shift in momentum. With FEU finally readjusting to the Ateneo’s defensive clampdown, the Morayta-based squad would wrest control of painted area. Ateneo’s own inside force Danica Jose would find herself unable to put up the easy shot with FEU’s Claire Castro and April Siat dominating the inside. With Ateneo’s other scorers unable to find their touch on the mid-range jumper, the Lady Eagles would find themselves trailing by halftime, 17-20, after being held to a dismal three point output in the quarter.
FEU’s Ana Valenzona would usher in the third quarter with five consecutive points off a three-pointer and the fastbreak layup to push the FEU lead to 25-17. The Lady Tams would eventually go on to complete the 12-0 run in the first four minutes to extend the lead to 32-17, before free throws from Hazelle Yam gave the Lady Eagles their first point of the second half. The Lady Tamaraws would enter the final period of the ballgame with a 38-23 point lead after forcing Ateneo to another forgettable quarter.
Both teams would struggle to score in the opening minutes of the final period of the ball game. The Lady Eagles however would take advantage of a lull in the Lady Tams’ defense to trim down the score to 30-40, entering the final two minutes. A basket from Likha Javier would trim the lead to single digits, 32-40, with little more than a minute remaining. The Lady Tams however would defend the lead in the minute, sinking free throws from the Lady Eagles’ desperation fouls.
Ana Valenzona led FEU with 13 points and 3 rebounds, while Jacqueline Tanaman and Angel Arellano chipped in 11 and 10 respectively. Danica Jose led the Lady Eagles with 10 points.
With the win, the Lady Tamaraws secure their place in the post-season. The Lady Eagles’ own campaign meanwhile comes to a close. The Lady Eagles finish with a season record of 7-7.