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Shock troopers: UP grounds Ateneo, moves out of women’s basketball cellar

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University of the Philippines took down a legitimate Final Four contender in Ateneo de Manila University in a thrilling finish to record its second straight win, 42-41 Thursday in the UAAP Season 78 women’s basketball tournament at Blue Eagle Gym.

After knocking down the game-tying basket, Bea Daez then scored splits from the line on separate occasions to give the Lady Maroons the margin before the team shut down the Lady Eagles using stymieing defense to book the win.

Daez had 14 points to go with 4 rebounds while center Janeena Tatel had 15 points and 9 rebounds as UP improved to 2-7 in the team standings while sending Ateneo to 4-5 in fifth spot.

The Lady Maroons did dictate the tempo early by going on a fullcourt trap and a 2-3 zone defense as they took a 12-8 lead in the second quarter.

Back to back baskets by Danica Jose followed by a drive by Cara Buendia gave the Lady Eagles a 14-12 lead, and from there it was a nip-and-tuck battle for both sides.

Ateneo threatened to break the game wide open later on, going on 7 unanswered points bridging the third and fourth quarters to snatch a 36-29 lead.

But two baskets by Tatel and a layup by Tin Aliermo, who grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds, made it 36-35.

Jose and Buendia gave Ateneo more cushion at 40-36 before a reverse by Tatel followed by a fastbreak layup by Daez knotted the count at 40 apiece under the final two minutes.

Daez sank a free throw with 1:20 left to hand UP the lead. Jose and Tatel then missed their attempts while a Buendia turnover led to another Daez free throw, 42-40 with 34 seconds remaining.

On the other end, Jose split her charities to pull Ateneo within 1, 41-42. The Lady Eagles secured the offensive rebounds but misses by Clare Aseron and Hazelle Yam towards the end sealed the fate of the Lady Eagles.

UP made a living out of Ateneo’s 28 turnovers which they turned into 24 points of their own. UP also limited Ateneo to only 26 inside points despite an obvious disparity in height.

Jose paced the Loyola camp with 11 points and 15 rebounds. Yam and Aseron fired 7 points apiece.

The scores:

UP (42) – Tatel 15, Daez 14, Aliermo 6, Pesquera 5, Medina 2, Oliva 0, Isip 0, Rodas 0, Ordoveza 0, Esplana 0.

Ateneo (41) – Jose 11, Yam 7, Aseron 7, Guytingco 4, Go 4, Javier 2, Buendia 2, Nitorreda 2, Deacon 2, Posadas 0, Veloso 0, Newsome 0, Lamar 0, Tomita 0, Payac 0.

Quarterscores: 9-6, 16-19, 28-33, 42-41.

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