Jesusa Avila and Jingky Balasta led a late fourth quarter comeback from the Adamson University Lady Falcons to edge past the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws, 48-47. The Lady Falcons outscored the Lady Tamaraws, 16-7 in the deciding quarter, after the Morayta-based squad had led by as much as 10 points in the late third quarter and early fourth quarter.
A tightly-contested first half saw both teams struggle offensively, especially at the free-throw and three-point lines, with the Lady Tamaraws notching a dismal 29% field-goal percentage, and the Lady Falcons 22%, leading to FEU hold on to a narrow 22-20 lead at halftime. The Lady Tamaraws would go on to pull away in the third quarter, and take a 30-20 lead by the seventh-minute of the quarter.
Trailing 32-40 at the end of the third quarter, a re-energized Jesusa Avila and Jingky Balasta would lead an Adamson charge that would hold the Lady Tamaraws to 7 points in the quarter. Balasta scored Adamson’s only three-point basket the entire game to bring up the Falcons to 44-45 entering the last three minutes of the game, with a basket from Jesusa Avila giving Adamson the lead for the first time in the second half, 46-44.
Having squandered a ten point lead, the Tamaraws would only score three points in the final two minutes. Another basket from Balasta giving Adamson a 48-47 edge in the final twenty-four seconds. The Lady Tams had one last opportunity to steal back the win, but Ana Valenzona went on to miss a three-pointer at the buzzer.
Jesusa Avila had 17 points and 7 rebounds to lead the Lady Falcons, with Zhalyn Mateo adding 9, and fourth quarter hero adding 9 points, most of which were made in the pivotal fourth quarter. Claire Castro had 13 points and 14 rebounds for FEU, with Apirl Siat contributing 10 points and a remarkable 19 boards.
Both teams experienced shooting woes all throughout the game, both teams having made only 1 of 16 3-point shots. FEU, despite the loss, scored 30% from the field, a slightly better percentage than Adamson’s 23%. This win marks the Lady Falcons’ first in the UAAP Season 77 Women’s Basketball Tournament. Both teams are currently at 1-2 in the standings.