Ruthlaine Tacula scored 18 points to lead University of the East to a close 56-51 victory over a gallant University of the Philippines side Sunday in the UAAP Season 78 women’s basketball tournament at the Blue Eagle Gym.
The aggressive Tacula got to the paint several times after constantly attacking the Lady Maroons’ defense and hit 8 of the 12 free throw attempts she earned.
The Lady Warriors improved to 4-3 in the team standings with the win to close the first round on a high note. The Lady Maroons dropped to 0-7 although they continue to show signs of improvement, playing minus top guard Bea Daez.
Janeena Tatel got going offensively for UP, scoring underneath while the Diliman squad also shot well from three-point land early. Triples by Joana Oliva and Christine Isip gave UP a 15-13 lead after the first quarter.
Tacula then scored eight in the second period where the Lady Warriors turned things around as they outscored their foes 19-7 to enter the halftime break ahead, 33-23.
In the third quarter, Tatel scored six in an 8-3 response by UP to trim the deficit down to 30-35.
Cherry Ano-os then scored five straight later on which extended the UE lead to 45-35 although UP kept fighting until the payoff period.
UE left the door open for UP as the former struggled to score from the field. An and-one play by Pat Pesquera made it 50-46 for UE with only under two minutes left.
Tacula made two foul shots on the other end before Pesquera scored anew to make it 52-48.
The Lady Maroons proceeded to hack Bienca Ramos, who scored a split, 53-48. However, Christine Aliermo turned the ball over with a backcourt violation towards the end which gave the ball back to the Lady Warriors.
The aggressive UE side had 16 more free throw attempts and converted on 9 more than UP.
Tatel paced UP with a big double-double of 21 points and 18 rebounds on 60 percent shooting. She also did a good job of limiting Eunique Chan and Love Joy Sto. Domingo to only 14 points on 5-for-16 shooting combined
UE (56) – Tacula 18, Ano-os 11, Sto. Domingo 8, Chan 6, Mendina 6, Ramos 3, Francisco 2, Taguiam 2, Sampaga 0, Bale 0, Nama 0.
UP (51) – Tatel 21, Pesquera 15, Isip 5, Aliermo 4, Oliva 3, Rodas 2, Esplana 1, Ordoveza 0, Medina 0, Franco 0, Eder 0, Cruz 0, Lapid 0.
Quarters: 13-15, 33-23, 47-39, 56-51.
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