Kent Pastrana believes that the University of Santo Tomas overcame defending champions National University 76-72 in Game One of the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Basketball Tournament finals because it learned from its mistakes the last time both teams played each other.
On November 5, the Lady Bulldogs escaped the Growling Tigresses 77-76 in overtime off a late Maymay Canuto basket.
This time, though, UST held on to finally defeat NU after 20 games and move one step closer to winning the championship it last secured in Season 69.
“Naging matured lang kami sa loob ng court,” said Pastrana, who led UST with 15 points, six rebounds, and four assists.
“Binigyan lang namin ng advice yung mga rookies na kailangan natin mag-execute nang maayos, gawin yung sistema ni coach. Ginawa naman namin yung best namin lahat kanina. Nag-stick lang kami sa sistema, sa kung ano yung dapat naming gawin, at kung ano yung game plan namin,” the 23-year-old forward out of Silay City furthered.
“Lesson learned yung nangyari nung last game against sa kanila. Kailangan lang namin magtiwala sa isa’t isa at gamitin yung oras pag lamang na. So ginawa lang namin yung dapat naming gawin kanina.”
Now, UST is on the cusp of glory.
The Growling Tigresses have the enviable opportunity of snapping the Lady Bulldogs’ streak of seven straight championships.
Game Two of the Finals will undoubtedly be one of the most intense games in recent memory. NU will try to do everything to extend the series and keep their eight-peat dreams alive.
UST, though, is braced for anything.
“Sobrang grateful po kami na binigyan kami ng opportunity matalo NU. Gagawin namin yung best namin para makuha namin yung panalo sa susunod na laro,” said the 23-year-old former Lady Archer.
“Nasa momentum na po kami. Gagawin pa rin namin ang lahat ng kailangan naming gawin. Tiwala pa rin kami sa isa’t isa at bibigyan namin ng kumpiyansa ang mga kasama namin sa bench.”