UAAP Basketball

UST stuns 7-time champ NU, nears UAAP women’s hoops crown 

Philip Matel

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UST stuns 7-time champ NU, nears UAAP women’s hoops crown 

BIG GAME. USTu2019s Tantoyu00a0 Ferrer looks to pass against her NU defenders in Game 1 of the UAAP womenu2019s basketball finals.

UAAP SEASON 86 MEDIA TEAM

Banking on a balanced charge, the UST Tigresses move within a win of their first UAAP women’s basketball crown in 17 years after a Game 1 upset of seven-time champion NU Lady Bulldogs

MANILA, Philippines — The UST Growling Tigresses pulled off a rare 76-72 win against the seven-time defending champion NU Lady Bulldogs to take a 1-0 series lead in the UAAP Season 86 women’s basketball finals on Wednesday, November 29, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Kent Pastrana led the way with 15 points and 6 rebounds as five different Tigresses scored in double-figures to power the team within a win of their first title since 2006.

The upset also snapped UST’s 20-game skid against NU, having won its last game of their matchup on August 31, 2012, when the Tigresses repulsed the Lady Bulldogs in overtime, 74-73.

“So happy, of course, that finally, we claimed a win against NU, which is most important since this is the championship series,” said UST head coach Haydee Ong after the game.

“I would like to thank the girls because they really worked hard for this… until the last second NU tried to come back, but they kept their composure,” she added.

Tacky Tacatac unleashed 11 of her 14 points in the payoff period, including some booming triples that kept NU at bay.

The Tigresses led by as many as 7 in the closing chapter, 71-64, courtesy of a layup by Pastrana, with about four minutes to play.

From that point on, NU started to slowly chip off their disadvantage, even coming to within a basket, 73-71, following free throws from Stefanie Berberabe, with 1:13 to go.

Rocel Dionisio then scored an important basket for the Tigresses to make it 75-71 in the ensuing possession.

NU’s Angel Surada had a chance to make it a one-possession game again, but split from the line, before Brigette Santos also hit just one of two for the final tally.

For UST, graduating Tantoy Ferrer tallied a 13-point, 14-rebound double-double, while Santos pocketed 7 steals along with 12 markers.

Camille Clarin put up all-around stats of 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists as the Lady Bulldogs lost their first finals game since Game 3 of the UAAP Season 76 championship series to La Salle, 69-61, in 2013.

The Tigresses put the pressure on defense, forcing 23 NU turnovers, which led to 27 points.

“We showed up today with a slow start to the ball game… that propelled UST to have an eight-point lead against us in the first quarter and from then on, we played catch-up basketball,” NU mentor Aris Dimaunahan said after the game.

“It’s always hard when you try to compete and play catchup basketball.”

NU hit 12-of-17 from the line – which would have altered the final tally had the team hit all of them.

The Scores

UST 76 – Pastrana 15, Tacatac 14, Ferrer 13, Santos 10, Villasin 10, Dionisio 6, Maglupay 4, Amatong 2, Serrano 0, Soriano 0, Ambos 0, Bron 0.

NU 72 – Clarin 18, Pingol 11, Berberabe 8, Konateh 8, Betanio 7, Cayabyab 5, Surada 5, Fabruada 4, Canuto 3, Solis 3.

Quarters: 20-12, 36-31, 54-51, 76-72.

– Rappler.com

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