Revenge was sweet for University of Santo Tomas.
The Growling Tigresses held their nerves in the endgame, edging the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 74-72, to create a logjam at second in the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Basketball Tournament Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Growling Tigresses were able to avenge their 69-73 overtime loss to the Fighting Maroons last October 14, 2023.
Kent Pastrana led UST across the finish line. The 23-year-old small forward scored 25 points, nine of which were converted in the fourth quarter. She also contributed six rebounds, two assists, and one steal.
“Happy po pero medyo kulang pa po yung laro ko po today,” said Pastrana. “Thank you din po sa mga teammates ko kasi grabe yung tiwala nila sa akin na kaya ko mag shoot (at) kaya ko mag-contribute. Lalo na sa mga coaches, binigyan nila ako ng chance makabalik sa laro kahit maraming lapses.”
“Bumalik ako sa laro para makatulong sa mga teammates ko at coaches.”
Down 60-62 off a Kaye Pesquera three with six minutes left in the game, the Growling Tigresses went on a rampage to seal the win. Pastrana and Tantoy Ferrer combined to score 11 points to give UST a 71-62 cushion with 3:21 to go.
Rhea Sanchez’s three and Christie Bariquit’s basket gave UP hope at 67-71 with 1:54 on the clock, but center Favour Onoh fouling out with 33.6 seconds on the clock dimmed the Fighting Maroons’ chances.
Pesquera then inched UP closer when she scored off a Louna Ozar steal, only for Pastrana to convert at the other end to reinstate UST’s four-point barrier with 16.6 seconds left to seal the win.
Ferrer followed Pastrana’s lead by contributing 19 points, nine rebounds, four assists, two steals, and one block. Rocel Dionisio had 10 points, eight rebounds, and two steals.
Reigning MVP Eka Soriano also helped UST with eight assists, seven steals, and four rebounds to go with her three points.
UST’s defense was key in this grind-out victory. The Growling Tigresses stole the ball 21 times and forced the Fighting Maroons to commit 33 turnovers. UST produced 29 points off turnovers and 20 fastbreak points.
“It was tight from the very moment of the tip-off until the end,” said coach Haydee Ong. “Luckily and I’m happy (that) even (if) we shot only 28%, we got the win over UP.”
UST will next face De La Salle University this Sunday at 9 a.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
On the other hand, Ozar led UP with 17 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Pesquera had 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals for the Fighting Maroons. Bariquit scored 11 points as well as made six rebounds and three assists.
Sanchez scored 11 points and produced seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
Onoh, UP’s Nigerian center, had an off-day due to foul trouble as she got three fouls in the first half. She only produced four points and nine rebounds.
UP’s veteran guard Justine Domingo did not suit up because of an ankle injury from the Fighting Maroons’ last game.
The Fighting Maroons fell to the second to third spots in the standings with a 6-2 record.
UP will face Adamson University this Saturday at 2 p.m. at the latter’s gym in San Marcelino, Manila.
UST 74 – Pastrana 25, Ferrer 19, Dionisio 10, Ambos 6, Villasin 4, Tacatac 4, Soriano 3, Santos 3, Bron 0, Maglupay 0, Serrano 0, Ly 0, Danganan 0, Amatong 0.
UP 72 – Ozar 17, Pesquera 12, Bariquit 11, Sanchez 11, Maw 7, tapawan 4, Onoh 4, Vingno 4, Lozada 2, Godez 0, Jimenez 0, Sauz 0.
Quarterscores: 22-17, 40-39, 55-55, 74-72.
Photo and article from UAAP Media.