University of the Philippines staved off Far Eastern University, 64-61, to maintain its faultless start in the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Basketball Tournament on Wednesday at the Adamson University Gym.
The Fighting Maroons have now improved their record to 4-0 to take a solo lead at the top of the standings. They have accrued an average winning margin of 13.75 in their past four games.
Louna Ozar had her best game yet for UP, leading the Fighting Maroons with 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.
“It’s expected from (Ozar),” said Fighting Maroons head coach Paul Ramos. “I’m just continuously reminding her to just be in the moment and enjoy the experience and continue to get better with her teammates.”
Backstopped by Ozar, Favour Onoh, and Kaye Pesquera, the Fighting Maroons achieved their biggest lead at 64-50 with six minutes and forty-five seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
However, the FEU did not give up. Josee Kaputu, Shane Salvani and Jamerin Delos Santos combined to bring down UP’s cushion to just three points with one minute and forty-one seconds left in the game.
Kaputu had a chance to edge the Lady Tamaraws closer, but her jumper fizzled out. Christie Bariquit then committed a costly turnover after the Fighting Maroons called a timeout with 50 seconds on the clock but UP locked FEU down to hold on for the win.
“I think FEU prepared very well,” said Ramos. “We were late in our adjustments and that’s my coaching fault. I’m happy that towards the latter part of the game, we were able to collectively find a solution on some of their deployments.”
Bariquit had 11 points and seven rebounds while Pesquera contributed 10 points, four rebounds, and three assists for the Fighting Maroons. Justine Domingo had eight points and five steals while Onoh scored six points and seized 13 rebounds for UP.
UP’s inside points won the game as the Fighting Maroons had 39 compared to the Lady Tamaraws’ 28.
UP will next play University of Santo Tomas this Saturday at 11 a.m. at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Kaputu led FEU with 19 points, 17 rebounds and three steals. Salvani had eight points, six rebounds and five assists while Delos Santos contributed eight points and 12 rebounds for the Lady Tamaraws.
FEU will look to bounce back against Ateneo de Manila University this Saturday at 9 a.m. at the same Pasay venue.
UP 64 – Ozar 15, Bariquit 11, Pesquera 10, Domingo 8, Maw 7, Onoh 6, Godez 3, Sanchez 2, Vingno 2, Tapawan 0, Lozada 0, Jimenez 0, Sauz 0.
FEU 61 – Kaputu 19, Salvani 8, Delos Santos 8, Aquino 8, Maguiat 4, Del Prado 4, Pasilang 4, Ong 2, Nagma 2, Caringal 2.
Quarterscores: 21-14, 35-34, 55-48, 64-61.