After missing out on the Final Four a season ago, Jhenn Angeles made sure that the University of Santo Tomas would book their post-season spot early, leading the Growling Tigresses to a 67-50 romping of the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles, Wednesday morning at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
With an 8-2 record, UST became the second team to make it to the playoffs. More importantly, this was a morale-boosting vitory for the Growling Tigresses after they had absorbed a 62-66 loss to the UE Lady Warriors last Sunday.
“I’m happy for the girls, at least they bounced back from our loss to UE. Our goal now, dahil pasok na kami sa Final Four, is to stay at number two and gain the twice-to-beat advantage,” said second-year UST head coach Haydee Ong.
Angeles, who was elbowed last Sunday, vented her ire on the Lady Eagles with a huge second quarter explosion. She outscored Ateneo by herself 15-10 during that quarter.
“After the UE game, nagkasakit siya kaya di siya nag-practice last Monday,” Ong remarked about Angeles, who finished with a game-high 22 markers.
“Buti nakabalik yung laro niya but si Anjel [Anies] naman yung nawala,” the UST mentor pointed out, as Anies scored just four points after finishing with 18 markers in their last outing.
The Growling Tigresses would lead by as much as 25 points, 58-33, after an 11-0 run that bridged the third and fourth quarter. The run was capped by an easy Sai Larosa layup with 9:46 remaining.
Larosa tallied a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds to go along with three steals. Kikay Gandalla chipped in 13 markers on an efficient 5-for-7 shooting.
“Madami kaming natutunan from that loss to UE. Rebounding, depensa from start to finish, yun yung mga nakita namin today,” said Ong, as UST out-rebounded the taller Ateneo squad, 51-41.
Tina Deacon led Ateneo with 12 points, while Hazelle Yam and Katrina Guytingco added 10 points each.
After dropping 14 points against La Salle last Sunday, Jollina Go was limited to just five points on 1-for-10 shooting.
Ateneo fell to a 3-7 slate.
UST will next face the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons on Sunday, October 29, at 8:00am. Ateneo, on the other hand, will have defending champions National University Lady Bulldogs next on Saturday, October 28 at 10:00am.
UST (67) – Angeles 22, Larosa 15, Gandalla 13, Anies 4, Rivera 4, Jerez 3, Portillo 2, Manuel 0, Sanggalang 0, Capilit 0, Magat 0, Villar 0, Isanan 0.
ADMU (50) – Deacon 12, Guytingco 10, Yam 10, Uy De Ong 6, Go 5, Joson 3, Newsome 2, Villamor 2, Buendia 0, Cancio 0.
Quarterscores: 17-11, 43-21, 56-33, 67-50.