ANTIPOLO, Philippines – Tacky Tacatac led the way while Nikki Villasin finally had breakout game as University of Santo Tomas extended its winning streak to four straight games after an 82-61 wire-to-wire win over University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 85 women’s basketball tournament on Saturday, October 22, at the Ynares Sports Center.
Tacatac tallied 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists in close to 32 minutes of action while Villasin produced 16 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals in 19 minutes.
UST wrapped up its first-round campaign with a 6-1 record, just behind the undefeated reigning champion NU Lady Bulldogs. UP settled for fifth place with a 3-4 record.
“It’s all because of the hard work of the ladies of course,” said Growling Tigresses coach Haydee Ong. “Working together, relentless defense all throughout the first round, I think that brought us to where we are now in the standings having 6-1.”
The Growling Tigresses raced to a 21-6 cushion early in the first quarter, punctuated by a Joylyn Pangilinan three. They then widened it to 35-16 at the 7:04 mark of the second quarter off of an underhand stab from Brigette Santos.
In the fourth quarter, UST rolled to its biggest lead at 21 points, 82-61, with 2:16 remaining in the contest courtesy of Eka Soriano’s basket.
Soriano also chipped in 15 points, 5 steals, and 4 assists while Santos had 10 points and 8 rebounds.
“Now that we are in 6-1, I think we are in a better position to enter the Final Four, but of course, we need to work hard again in the second round because teams are scouting everybody else, like Tacatac and Villasin,” said Ong. “They know they’re the shooters of the team so hopefully, in the second round, we’ll perform better than in the first round.”
Ong’s wards had 19 points off turnovers, 24 fastbreak points, and 54 starter points to blow the game wide open. In contrast, the Fighting Maroons had 8, 6, and 29.
Kaye Pesquera and Larrosa led UP with 18 and 13 points, respectively. Acrissa Maw had 10 rebounds for the Fighting Maroons.
UST 82 – Tacatac 19, Villasin 16, Soriano 15, Santos 10, Pangilinan 7, Bron 5, Ambos 4, Villapando 4, Dionisio 2, Serrano 0, Araza 0.
UP 61 – Pesquera 18, Larrosa 13, Bariquit 8, Tapawan 8, Domingo 5, Maw 3, Sanchez 2, Lozada 2, Gonzales 2, Jimenez 0, Sauz 0, Rivera 0, Vingno 0.
Quarters: 28-13, 43-28, 62-49, 82-61.