After a tremendous start, the UP Women’s Basketball Team ran out of gas in the second half as the Ateneo de Manila University took over in the final two quarters, dealing the Maroons their second consecutive loss, 61-67, in the UAAP Season 85 Women’s Basketball Tournament, Sunday morning at SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
UP, who had the momentum after the halftime break, lapsed in the final two cantos letting Katipunan neighbors Ateneo complete a comeback win, and emerged victorious in a somewhat crucial and much-anticipated ‘Battle of Katipunan’ match-up
This is UP’s first back-to-back loss this season after falling as National University’s 100th straight victim in the UAAP, putting them into a heavy traffic for the fourth spot as the tail-end of the first round of eliminations approaches.
Currently, the Fighting Maroons are tied with Ateneo Blue Eagles and Adamson University in fourth place, with a 2-3 win-loss card.
With the Fighting Maroons up by five early in the third quarter, 42-37, Blue Eagles’ Kacey dela Rosa sliced through UP’s defense to trim the lead down to three, before igniting another 4-0 run to give Ateneo the lead, 43-42.
Both teams managed to trade points in the remainder of the third quarter, with the Maroons finding themselves down only by three going into the final canto, 50-53. Yet, in the final frame, UP found no answers to Ateneo and dela Rosa.
The Maroons dealt with early foul trouble in the fourth quarter as the Eagles feast in the charity lane to maintain their lead. Then, dela Rosa took over with her finishing touches to spearhead an 11-5 Ateneo run, about a minute left before the final buzzer sounded to seal the win.
UP’s lone bright stars Kaye Pesquera and Christie Balingit combined for 29 markers– not enough for a bounce back win– while Maroons’ kryptonite dela Rosa tallied a monster-game of 30 points, 20 rebounds, and seven blocks.
UP will try to snap its two-game losing skid against winless UE, while Ateneo and Adamson will duel to break the tie in the standings. Both games will be held at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion on Wednesday.
Ateneo 67 – Dela Rosa 30, Villacruz 12, Joson 11, Calago 6, Miranda 4, Nieves 4, Eufemiano 0, Cruza 0.
UP 61 – Pesquera 16, Bariquit 13, Lozada 9, Tapawan 8, Sanchez 5, Vingno 4, Domingo 2, Maw 2, Jimenez 2, Sauz 0, Rivera 0, Larrosa 0, Gonzales 0.
Quarter Scores: 20-22, 35-39, 53-50, 67-61.