Last season, the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigresses ended the first round with a dismal win-loss record of 2-5.
This UAAP Season 80 Women’s Basketball Tournament has been a different animal for the Growling Tigresses, however, as they got their sixth win of the competition in a resurgent 54-49 victory against the University of the East Lady Warriors.
“I have to give it to the team,” commented UST mentor Haydee Ong. “They never gave up even if we were down by 10 points. We made some crucial stops. Of course credit din sa UE team kase they made us better today.”
Bets Peñaflor and Anjel Anies led UST with 16 and 14 points respectively, today at the Blue Eagle Gym in the Ateneo de Manila University. Sai Larosa also had six points and 12 rebounds for the Growling Tigresses.
Down as much as 33-43 courtesy of Love Sto. Domingo’s three early in the fourth quarter, the Growling Tigresses went on an 11-0 run capped off by Peñaflor’s jumper to clinch a 44-43 edge with 5:45 remaining in the ballgame.
“When we got the lead, we never looked back na,” shared Ong.
From then on, Ong’s wards had momentum, and an unsportsmanlike foul from UE’s Joyce Francisco on UST’s Jhenn Angeles with 1:48 to go handed the Growling Tigresses the initiative to seal the win.
Angeles converted her first charity and sunk a jumpshot afterwards to hand UST a 53-49 separation with just 1:35 left on the clock. The Lady Warriors tried to retaliate, but the Growling Tigresses’ defense left them at arms length.
With less than a minute on the game clock, Anies converted one of her freebies to seal the deal, as UST prevailed 54-49 against the frustrated UE.
Ong’s bench proved key today as it made 24 points compared to UE’s 12. The Growling Tigresses also took advantage of Lady Warrior Eunique Chan’s foul woes, as they made 30 inside baskets versus the 18 produced by the Lady Warriors.
Sto. Domingo rallied UE with 20 points and 15 rebounds while Bienca Ramos got 11 boards for the Lady Warriors.
UST (6-1) end the first round in second place in the current standings. On the other hand, UE (4-2) will finish the round against the De La Salle University on October 7, 10:00 AM, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“We were lacking time when we came into UST (last year). We only had three months and now we had a solid nine months preparation for the team,” Ong pointed out. And it’s starting to pay dividends.
UST (54) – Peñaflor 16, Anies 14, Angeles 6, Larosa 6, Rivera 4, Gandalla 3, Portillo 2, Jerez 2, Aujero 1, Sanggalang 0, Capilit 0.
UE (49) – Sto. Domingo 20, Tacula 8, Strachan 5, Chan 4, Francisco 4, Antonio 3, Cortizano 3, Ramos 1, Requiron 1, Gayacao 0.
Quarterscores: 15-14, 27-27, 33-40, 54-49.
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