University of the Philippines had to dig deep to overcome University of Santo Tomas in overtime, 73-69, and remain spotless in the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Basketball Tournament, Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The Fighting Maroons stayed atop the standings at 5-0, achieving their best start since Season 71 when they also opened the tournament with five straight wins.
“I’m happy we won a close game because that is a facet we can get better. It’s a team effort and we’re hoping to maintain that,” said Fighting Maroons head coach Paul Ramos.
The Growling Tigresses scored the first three points in overtime but Christie Bariquit, Marielle Vingno, and Kaye Pesquera connived for six straight Fighting Maroons points for a 69-66 lead with 2:20 left.
Rachelle Ambos answered back for UST with a putback at the 1:56 mark but that would be its last field goal as Louna Ozar and Favour Onoh made back-to-back baskets for the 73-69 UP advantage with 1:22 to go.
The Growling Tigresses then failed to convert the rest of the way.
“Wala talaga akong pake diyan sa stats na yan. Ang akin lang talaga makaambag ako sa team,” said Bariquit, who made 15 points and seven rebounds while being a plus-20 in her 32 minutes and 33 seconds on the floor.
Ozar’s split from the line with 45.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter tied the game at 63. She then missed a possible go-ahead shot with 11 seconds left.
UST, meanwhile, failed to take a shot in the ensuing play to send the game to extra time.
Pesquera led the way for the Fighting Maroons with 17 points built on four three-pointers, while Ozar chimed in 16 points and four steals.
Nigerian center Favour Onoh imposed her will inside, grabbing 17 rebounds and tallying nine points and five blocks.
UP goes for its sixth win in a row on Wednesday’s quadruple-header at the Adamson Gym against De La Salle University.
It was a tough defensive battle as the Fighting Maroons forced 33 turnovers out of the Growling Tigresses. UP also committed 31 turnovers.
UP shot just 35.1-percent from the field, only making 26 of their 74 attempts. UST, on the other hand, converted 23 of their 73 attempts, good for just 31.5 percent.
Kent Pastrana top-scored for the Growling Tigresses with 19 points but needed 20 shots for it. Tantoy Ferrer followed with 14 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and five steals.
Brigette Santos added 11 points and seven rebounds as senior guard Tacky Tacatac struggled, going 1-of-11 for just three points.
UST seeks to end its misery when it tangles with Ateneo de Manila University also on Wednesday.
UP 73 – Pesquera 17, Ozar 16, Bariquit 15, Onoh 9, Vingno 6, Sanchez 5, Maw 3, Domingo 2, Tapawan 0, Lozada 0, Godez 0.
UST 69 – Pastrana 19, Ferrer 14, Santos 11, Ambos 9, Dionisio 5, Soriano 4, Tacatac 3, Ly 2, Maglupay 2, Amatong 0, Serrano 0, Danganan 0, Bron 0, Villasin 0.
Quarterscores: 14-19, 29-34, 45-47, 63-63, 73-69.
Photo and article from UAAP