University of the Philippines’ women’s basketball program has truly turned its fortunes around.
This as the once-moribund Fighting Maroons handed eight-peat seeking National University its first loss in the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Basketball Tournament, scoring a rousing 72-69 win at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion on Sunday.
“Nothing to say. We’re just really happy. We’re gonna celebrate the moment but we didn’t come here this season just to win a game against NU, we have a mission, we’re trying to get that,” said UP head coach Paul Ramos.
The Fighting Maroons raced to a 43-31 lead at halftime but the Lady Bulldogs came out barking in the third to gain a 50-49 advantage heading into the payoff period.
With 11 seconds on the shot clock and 24.7 seconds on the game clock with NU down, 67-69, Maymay Canuto dribbled the ball off her foot that allowed UP’s Kaye Pesquera to grab the loose ball on the floor.
However, Ann Pingol stole the ball from Pesquera and went for a layup but it rimmed out as the Fighting Maroons secured the rebound and called for a timeout.
Pesquera, in the ensuing play, wasted some time before being sent to the free throw line with 6.2 seconds left, making the first before missing the second, 70-67.
The Lady Bulldogs got the rebound but Christie Bariquit stole it and passed to Louna Ozar for the exclamation points with 2.5 ticks remaining.
“I was really excited for my first game. I saw my team was coming off a win and I wanna join that,” said Gilas Pilipinas stalwart Ozar in her debut, finishing with nine points, four rebounds, and four assists.
UP stretched its unbeaten streak to three games at 3-0 while pulling the Lady Bulldogs down to 2-1 for joint-third with Ateneo de Manila University.
This is also the Fighting Maroons’ first win over the NU dynasty since August 29, 2011, a 60-59 escape in the second round of Season 74.
Nigeria’s Favour Onoh posted numbers of 18 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks, and four steals, while Bariquit added 13 points, nine rebounds, and five assists.
Pesquera also added 11 points, four steals, three rebounds, and three assists as UP goes for 4-0 on Wednesday at the Adamson Gym, facing Far Eastern University.
Pingol paced the Lady Bulldogs with 15 points, seven rebounds, and four steals, while Camille Clarin and TIn Cayabyab chimed in 12 points apiece. Angel Surada collected a double-double of 11 points and 15 rebounds.
NU, on the other hand, will meet the still-undefeated University of Santo Tomas.
UP 72 – Onoh 18, Bariquit 13, Pesquera 11, Ozar 9, Maw 7, Sanchez 5, Vingno 4, Godez 3, Domingo 2, Sauz 0, Lozada 0.
NU 69 – Pingol 15, Clarin 12, Cayabyab 12, Surada 11, Canuto 8, Talas 3, Betanio 2, Bartolo 2, Solis 2, Fabruada 1, Konateh 0.
Quarterscores: 23-14, 43-31, 49-50, 72-69
Article from UAAP Media; Photo by Jake Rovin Morales