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NU defends UAAP women’s hoops title vs streak-spoiler De La Salle

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SECOND seed De La Salle University staved off third-ranked University of Santo Tomas (UST) , 74-69, in a rubber match Sunday to set a championship series date with six-time defending champion National University (NU) in University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 women’s basketball action at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Game 1 of the best-of-three Finals is set 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum with De La Salle owning the bragging rights for having stopped NU’s historic 108-game winning streak last November 23 with a 61-57 overtime stunner.

“I’d like to give credit to UST, they played one hell of a series against us but we were the better team this time around,” said De La Salle coach Cholo Villanueva, whose squad lost Game 1, 57-68, last Wednesday.

The Lady Archers are in the Finals for the first time Season 79, where they bowed to the Lady Bulldogs.

De La Salle had to walk the tightrope at crunch time.

Joylyn Pangilinan and Rocel Dionisio willed the Growling Tigresses back for a 69-69 count with 47 seconds to go.

But that was last UST last stand as Pangilinan, Tacky Tacatac and Eka Soriano missed crucial field goals and free throw attempts, while Kreecie Binaohan gave the lead back to De La Salle with two free throws with 31.2 seconds remaining.

Pangilinan and Tacatac missed a three-pointer and a putback, respectively, as Marga Jimenez stretched the Lady Archers lead to three with a split from the free throw line, 72-69.

Tacatac missed another triple, Soriano grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled but flunked both her charities—the the second she intentionally missed hoping for the Tigresses to grab the rebound.

Lady Archer Lee Sario was fouled, missed her charities but got her own rebound and returned to the line where she didn’t miss this time to secure the win for De La Salle withn 3.2 seconds to go. Fina Niantcho Tchuido led La Salle with 18 points, 12 rebounds, two blocks, and two steals, while Binaohan had a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Senior Torres also delivered 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists and Lee Sario got 12 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Lady Archers.

Agatha Bron paced UST with 13 points, while Soriano had 10 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and three steals but committed six turnovers.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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