In its first game without last season’s leading scorer Lore Rivera, University of Santo Tomas relied on a total team effort anchored on its wings to upend Far Eastern University, 65-58 Sunday in the UAAP Season 78 women’s basketball tournament at the Blue Eagle Gym.
Candice Magdaluyo, Jhenn Angeles, and Shanda Anies all scored in double-digits as the Growling Tigresses led for most of the match before pulling some stops in the end to punch the victory.
UST leaned on its drive and kick game early on, using its wings to complement big Maica Cortes inside the paint.
The Espana squad raced to a 19-9 lead in the opening period, and although Loraine Ventura and Ericka Hortaleza conspired to bring the Lady Tamaraws to within 1, 18-19, UST responded strong behind triples from Magdaluyo and Angeles to make it 34-20.
The lead expanded to 48-32 late in the third period as UST kept running in transition while also giving FEU different looks on defense.
But the Morayta crew slowly chipped in to the gap, thanks to free throws from Clare Castro and a basket by Precious Arellado which made it 51-42 early in the fourth, prompting UST to call a timeout.
The Growling Tigresses once again answered with 6 straight points including back to back from Anies to make it 57-42.
The hard-fighting Lady Tamaraws kept pushing, this time going on a full-court trap to generate turnovers and score easy baskets in transition.
Ventura and Isabel Ballecer combined for 7 in an 11-0 rally which let FEU pull to the closest at 53-57, before a dagger of a jumper by Angeles sealed the deal for UST with under two minutes left.
Magdaluyo fired 17 points on 60 percent shooting, including 3-for-6 from beyond the arc. Angeles and Anies provided 16 points apiece as UST never felt it lost its top scorer last year.
The team also moved the ball well, assisting on 13 of 23 field goal makes as they showcased a glimpse of what it can accomplish this year.
Arellado led the Lady Tamaraws with 16 points while Ventura had 9 points and 10 rebounds in a losing effort.
UST (65) – Magdaluyo 17, Angeles 16, Anies 16, Cortes 8, Felisarta 4, Larosa 2, Isanan 1, Portillo 1, Brillante 0, Penaflor 0, Capilit 0, Pernia 0, Jerez 0.
FEU (58) – Arellado 16, Ventura 9, Hortaleza 9, Ballecer 8, Castro 7, Okunlola 5, Abat 4, Baldonado 0, Adriano 0, Capua 0, Quiapo 0, Payadon 0.
Quarterscores: 19-9, 39-26, 51-38, 65-58.
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