Ateneo de Manila University denied neighbor University of the Philippines a first-round sweep, taking a statement 85-76 victory in the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Basketball Tournament Saturday inside a packed Adamson University Gym on Saturday.
Ateneo hit two birds with one stone — improving its record to 5-2 good for third to fourth spots in the standings as well as snapping UP’s six-game winning start to the season.
Jhazmin Joson led the Blue Eagles with 29 points — 12 of which came in the third quarter — behind 8-of-12 shooting from the three-point line, and four assists and two steals.
“It’s a breakthrough win for us,” said Blue Eagles head coach LA Mumar. “Alam naman natin na UP was undefeated but we had the mentality that we really believed that we can beat any team. We’re starting to mature so hopefully this is a sign of better things to come.”
Despite having rookie guard Louna Ozar foul out with 7:40 remaining in the game, the Fighting Maroons gave themselves hope as Favour Onoh, Acrissa Maw, and Kaye Pesquera cut the deficit to just 77-71 with 4:48 left in the payoff period.
Graduating Blue Eagle guard Joson then scored two crucial threes while Junize Calago and Sarah Makanjuola linked up to put up a nine-point barrier with less than three minutes remaining, which UP failed to recover from.
It was a case of history repeating itself for the Fighting Maroons, who are tied for first place with defending champions National University in the first to second spots.
Calago supported Joson with 24 points. Kacey dela Rosa, meanwhile, produced 11 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks.
Back in Season 70, UP was on a six-game winning start, only for Ateneo to snap it in the last game of the first round.
Maw led UP in terms of scoring with 17 points while Nigerian big Favour Onoh tallied a double-double with 16 points, 18 rebounds, and four blocks.
Ateneo (85) – Joson 29, Calago 24, Dela Rosa 11, Villacruz 10, Makanjuola 7, Cancio 4, Gastador 0, Solis 0, Angala 0, Nieves 0, Eufemiano 0.
UP (76) – Maw 17, Onoh 16, Pesquera 15, Bariquit 8, Vingno 6, Domingo 5, Ozar 3, Tapawan 3, Sanchez 3, Lozada 0, Godez 0.
Quarterscores: 26-15, 46-45, 68-63, 85-76.