Even without prized rookie Louna Ozar, the University of the Philippines displayed its dominance over Adamson University, winning 92-61 to open its UAAP Season 86 Women’s Basketball Tournament campaign on a high note on Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The Lady Falcons briefly held an 8-4 lead early in the first quarter, but that was the extent of their advantage as the Fighting Maroons found their rhythm.
Justine Domingo ignited the surge for UP, contributing 12 points during their 27-9 run to establish a 14-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 31-17, and they never looked back.
The Fighting Maroons extended their lead to as much as 35 points when Shanina Tapawan scored a layup with 5:48 left in the game, making it 88-53.
“Definitely, I’m really proud of how we performed today but I think it’s not yet the end result that we want but it is a good start for us,” said UP head coach Paul Ramos.
Domingo led the way for the Fighting Maroons with 17 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, while Marielle Vingno and Christie Bariquit each contributed 13 points.
Shela Godez and Rhea Sanchez also scored in double digits for UP with 12 and 10 points, respectively, and Nigerian student-athlete Favour Onoh added eight points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks.
“I feel the players deserved this kind of a win today because of the investment and the sacrifice that these girls have been doing for the past several months,” added Ramos.
Louna Ozar’s debut had to be postponed as she is currently with Gilas Women’s at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
Victoria Adeshina led the Lady Falcons with 14 points and 19 rebounds, while Elaine Etang and Cris Padilla contributed 13 and 10 points, respectively.
UP’s next opponent will be the University of the East, while Adamson University will face the University of Santo Tomas on Wednesday at the Adamson Gym.
UP 92 — Domingo 17, Vingno 13, Bariquit 13, Godez 12, Sanchez 10, Onoh 8, Pesquera 5, Tapawan 5, Maw 4, Quinquinio 2, Sauz 2, Lozada 1, Jimenez 0.
AdU 61 — Adeshina 14, Etang 13, Padilla 10, Meniano 7, Limbago 5, Dampios 5, Mazo 3, Agojo 2, Alaba 2, Apag 0, Cortez 0, Tano 0, Bajo 0, Calvert 0, Dumelod 0.
Quarterscores: 31-17, 52-32, 77-47, 92-61.