Following their 86-point beatdown of the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons, the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigresses enjoyed another big win, 85-55, this time against the Adamson University Lady Falcons.
Grace Irebu led UST in their second win in the UAAP Season 81 Women’s Basketball Tournament with 28 points and 13 rebounds, Wednesday morning at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City. Sai Larosa flirted with a triple-double once again thanks to 16 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists.
UST mentor Haydee Ong shared that capitalizing on her team’s ceiling size was the game plan for the contest. “They don’t have a match-up for Grace Irebu. Yun talaga yung first option namin.”
From a tight first period that ended 21-19, the Growling Tigresses enacted an 11-2 run closed by Loraine Capilit’s basket to hand UST a 32-21 lead halfway through the second period. Capilit then extended that separation at the 4:27 mark of the frame with a four-point play, to give the España school a sizable cushion at 38-23 with roughly three minutes left at the half.
“I think yung girls mas controlled on their offense. We’re having more patience sa offense and then they’re working hard sa depensa namin so I think yan yung key namin in this game,” added Ong.
The game took an ugly turn, though, when Natalie Prado suffered a nasty cut in the second quarter. The veteran big fought for possession and suddenly fell on the floor while her teammates crossed the half court. Medics then attended to her wound above her left eye. While the referees stopped play, no punishment was handed out. Prado was fit enough to return to the court.
UST did not slow down in the second half despite their 46-31 halftime advantage. Grace Irebu’s marker allowed the Growling Tigresses to have a 51-31 lead, while Capilit’s three-point play provided UST a strong finish to the quarter at 71-48.
Larosa hit it off for UST with four straight markers in the fourth quarter, while another post move by Irebu gave UST their biggest lead of the ballgame at 79-49 with 3:36 left in the final frame. In the end, the Growling Tigresses cruised to a 85-55 victory at the Lady Falcons’ expense.
UST’s dominated Adamson through it’s performance in the paint. The Growling Tigresses seized 63 rebounds versus Adamson’s 42 and the former scored 66 inside points compared to the latter’s 30. UST also moved the ball better with 22 assists, while Adamson only made half of that.
Lady Rose Rosario and Prado paced Adamson with 13 points each, while the latter also had eight rebounds to her name.
“For Sunday, we’ll go against Ateneo. Ganun pa rin. One game at a time. We have to prepare. The season is long so we’ll just keep working hard,” concluded Ong.
UST (2-1) will look to continue their momentum at the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles’ expense at 3:00 PM, while Adamson (1-2) hope to bounce back versus the University of the East Lady Warriors earlier at 9:00 AM. The Blue Eagle Gym will host both games.
UST (85) – Irebu 28, Capilit 17, Larosa 16, Ferrer 8, Gonzales 8, Aujero 4, Tacatac 2, Rivera 2, Magat 0, Sangalang 0.
AdU (55) – Rosario 13, Prado 13, Araja 6, Cacho 6, Razalo 4, Osano 3, Camacho 2, Bilbao 2, Alcoy 2, Aciro 2, Cabug 2, Tandaan 0.
Quarterscores: 21-19, 46-31, 71-48, 85-55