UAAP Basketball

UAAP women’s hoops: NU punches 9th straight finals ticket; UP forges do-or-die semis vs UST

Philip Matel

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UAAP women’s hoops: NU punches 9th straight finals ticket; UP forges do-or-die semis vs UST

STAR FRESHMEN. UP's rookie sensations Louna Ozar (left) and Favour Onoh react during Final Four action against UST.


The NU Lady Bulldogs romp to the UAAP women’s basketball finals anew after ousting the Ateneo Blue Eagles; while the UP Fighting Maroons stay alive against the UST Tigresses to force a decider for the last title berth

MANILA, Philippines – Seven-time defending champion NU Lady Bulldogs marched to the title round anew after fending off the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 58-43, in the UAAP Season 86 women’s basketball semifinals on Wednesday, November 22, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“There should be no complacency for us,” said Karl Pingol, who finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting, backstopping NU team captain Camille Clarin, who scored all her 12 points in the first half, and added 4 assists.

But while the Lady Bulldogs claimed their ninth straight title berth, they have to wait a few more days for their finals foe as the UP Fighting Maroons forced a rubber match against the No. 2 UST Growling Tigresses after a pulsating 88-80 overtime win in the other Final Four duel. 

Ball, Basketball, Basketball (Ball)
CHAMPION FORM. NU star Camille Clarin goes for a shot against Ateneo’s defense.

UP looks to complete its upset of UST – which holds a twice-to-beat advantage like top-ranked NU – in the do-or-die Game 2 on Saturday, November 25, at the Araneta Coliseum.

Rookie Favour Onoh, who is celebrating her 18th birthday on Wednesday, gifted the Maroons with 19 points and a league-record 30 rebounds, along with 4 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks.

Onoh is the first UAAP player to record 30 rebounds in any division – men, women, or juniors – since the league shifted to digital stats recording in 2003, according to lead statistician Pong Ducanes.

Fellow UP neophyte Louna Ozar also paced the Maroos with 25 points on an efficient 10-of-15 shooting display.

“We’re gonna celebrate this today, back to work tomorrow, because all of this will not make sense if on Saturday if we don’t show up,” said UP head coach Paul Ramos. “I’m just proud of what we have achieved so far.”

“We’re taking [it] one game at a time, I’m really proud of all the girls including the birthday girl and Louna,” he added.

Massive UP run

The Maroons won their first playoff game since 2008 after pulling away in the extension through a massive 13-1 run, which was capped off by an Ozar and-one play with 1:54 left.

UST attempted to come back but could not convert on their free throws, hitting just 12-of-25 from the charity stripe overall.

Down 71-72 in the last minute, Onoh split her freebies to knot the game at 72-all with 38.6 seconds remaining.

Kent Pastrana had a chance to win it for UST, but her stepback three-pointer was a bit strong as time expired.

Pastrana, who’s playing her first year under coach Haydee Ong, knocked down a team-high 29 points, along with 11 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals.

UST seemed to have the game in the bag when it led 45-25 during the second before UP went on a scintillating 21-0 run to take a 46-45 lead, courtesy of a bank shot by Onoh at the 7:19 mark of the third.

The Tigresses trailed by 4 with 2:10 left in regulation following a triple by Ozar.

However, Tacky Tacatac responded quickly from downtown, while Brigette Santos gave UST the 72-71 lead at the 1:36 mark.

NU puts clamps on Ateneo

After a back-and-forth NU-Ateneo affair in the first half – which saw the Lady Bulldogs emerged with a 31-27 lead at intermission – the defending champions put on the clamps in the third behind Pingol’s 8 points in the period.

But the Lady Bulldogs rediscovered their dominant form after the break and the lead widened to as many as 19 in the fourth quarter, 58-39, after Jil Talas nailed a left corner three with 3 minutes to go.

Ateneo’s one-two punch of Kacey dela Rosa and Jhaz Joson were held to a combined 18 points, with the MVP frontrunner Dela Rosa just scoring 4 in the second half.

Joson, on the other hand, was contained to 7 points and coughed up 8 turnovers in her final UAAP game.

The Scores

First game

NU 58 – Clarin 12, Pingol 10, Canuto 8, Konateh 8, Berberabe 4, Solis 4, Betanio 3, Cayabyab 3, Talas 3, Surada 2, Fabruada 1, Alterado 0, Alcantara 0.

Ateneo 43 – Calago 12, Dela Rosa 10, Makanjoula 8, Joson 7, Villacruz 6, Gastador 0, Angala 0, Solis 0, Nieves 0, Malaga 0, Fetalvero 0, Eufemanio 0.

Quarters: 13-11, 31-27, 48-37, 58-43.

Second game

UP 88 – Ozar 25, Pesquera 19, Onoh 14, Sanchez 12, Domingo 9, Tapawan 6, Maw 2, Bariquit 1, Lozada 0, Vingno 0.

UST 80 – Pastrana 29, Tacatac 12, Santos 9, Villasin 9, Ferrer 7, Maglupay 4, Danganan 3, Dionisio 3, Soriano 2, Ambos 2, Bron 0, Ly 0, Serrano 0.

Quarters: 21-22, 38-45, 59-54, 72-72 (reg.), 88-80 (OT).


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