UAAP Basketball

NU overcomes UST scare, keeps title defense alive in UAAP women’s hoops

Philip Matel

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NU overcomes UST scare, keeps title defense alive in UAAP women’s hoops

STAYING ALIVE. NU’s Karl Pingol and Camille Clarin celebrate as the Lady Bulldogs escape the UST Tigresses in Game 2 of the finals.


In another thriller, the NU Lady Bulldogs outlast the UST Tigresses by just a bucket in Game 2 to keep their bid for an eighth straight UAAP women’s basketball championship alive

MANILA, Philippines — For the first time since 2013, the UAAP women’s basketball finals is going the distance.

Seven-time reigning champion NU Lady Bulldogs banked on their stellar defense and churned out a 72-70 escape against the hard-fighting UST Growling Tigers in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 86 championship series on Saturday, December 3, at the Araneta Coliseum.

NU’s one-and-done Stef Berberabe made the biggest stop of the affair as she made a successful vertical challenge of UST’s Kent Pastrana attempt from the left corner in the dying seconds.

As NU veteran Camille Clarin missed both insurance free throws that would have iced the game, Pastrana called her own number, tried to shake off her defender, but bricked the game-tying shot from the left corner as NU secured the board for the win.

The winner-take-all finale is set on Wednesday, December 6 – the first finals rubber match in a decade since La Salle fended off NU, 69-61, to win the championship in Game 3 on October 5, 2013.

Prior to Clarin’s missed opportunities, NU’s Maymay Canuto successfully dislodged the ball off Pastrana, with the rock last touching the fingertips of the UST star with 17.4 seconds left.

“Hats off to our ladies for not giving up, Pastrana was ahead by two or three steps on the fastbreak but Canuto came all the way from the deep right corner and didn’t give up,” said NU head coach Aris Dimaunahan after the game.

“By working hard, we were rewarded with an extra possession, and it could have been an easy layup for Pastrana,” he added.

Clarin, the Lady Bulldogs team captain, towed the offense with 18 points, 13 coming the the first half, along with 8 assists.

Karl Pingol had 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting for the Lady Bulldogs, while Princess Fabruada had 13.

UST – which took Game 1 with a 76-72 decision last Wednesday – led by as many as 9 points in the first quarter, 24-15, before NU clapped back to come within 3, 43-40, at the break.

The Lady Bulldogs then outscored UST, 15-7, to close out the third and take a 59-57 lead heading to the payoff period.

NU looked poised to pull away when they went ahead, 68-62, in the last three minutes, before the Tigresses attempted to slowly chip away at the lead.

“We’re still alive, we’re still alive, we always set a modest goal for our team every time, every play we’ll step on the court and today’s mindset was to stay alive,” said Dimaunahan.

“We stayed in the present, we didn’t think of Game 1 and we didn’t even think of Game 3, our main focus was Game 2 only,” he added.

Pastrana, Tantoy Ferrer, and Rocel Dionisio each scored 15 as UST keeps its hunt for its first basketball title since 2006.

The Scores

NU 72 – Clarin 18, Pingol 14, Fabruada 13, Surada 8, Berberabe 5, Solis 5, Canuto 4, Betanio 3, Cayabyab 2, Konateh 0, Bartolo 0.

UST 70 – Pastrana 15, Ferrer 15, Dionisio 15, Tacatac 12, Santos 4, Soriano 3, Bron 3, Maglupay 2, Villasin 1, Ly 0, Ambos 0.

Quarters: 21-26, 40-43, 59-57, 72-70.


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