Lady Warriors advance to Finals despite bench-clearing brawl

Philip Matel on Nov 25, 2017 02:26 PM
Lady Warriors advance to Finals despite bench-clearing brawl
A bench-clearing brawl marred the UE Lady Warriors' comeback victory, which sent them for the Finals for the first time in their history.

The UE Lady Warriors advance to the UAAP Season 80 Women’s Basketball tournament for the first time as they came back and downed the UST Tigresses, 69-62 at the Mall of Asia Arena Saturday afternoon. 

With the game at hand for UE, UST's Larosa threw a punch at Love Sto. Domingo after the former split her charities, leading to a bench-clearing brawl which resulted in the ejection of Larosa and for UE players Marieny Requiron, Erica Ebeza, and Princess Pedregosa. 

UE head coach Aileen Lebornio also was assessed a technical foul for letting her players enter the court during the scrum.

The Lady Warriors had erased a nine-point UST lead at the beginning of the payoff period with an 11-0 blitz capped by a Joyce Francisco corner triple with 5:56 left.

UST responded with a Kikay Gandalla three to regain the lead, 59-58, however UE banked in on their stifling defense to force errant turnovers and timely free throws to erect a 64-59 lead with 1:30 left in the game.

The Tigresses had control for much of the three quarters, even leading by as much as 14 points early in the first half 26-12, and were led by Anjel Anies’ 16 first-half points. Anies however did not score for UST in the final 20 minutes.

Jhenn Angeles, in her final game for UST, had an all-around game of seven points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Also playing their final games donning the gold are Anies, Tata Jerez, Bettina Peñaflor, and Marielle Isanan.

Larosa also scored 15 for UST and grabbed eight boards.

Sto. Domingo paced UE’s offense with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Eunique Chan added 16 markers and 12 boards. 

UE had a big advantage at the foul line with 35 free throw attempts to UST’s 19.

The Lady Warriors may miss the services of Pedregosa, Requiron, and Ebeza as they will face idle NU, who hold a 62-game win streak on Wednesday, Nov. 29, for Game 1 of the best-of-three finals starting Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

"Doon ko nakita ‘yung five years na pinaghirapan namin. Sabi ko sa kanila nga noong natalo kami against UST noong Game 1 namin, sabi ko, masakit pero kailangan nating bumangon, isipin natin ‘yung goal natin kasi limang taon na tayo magkakasama tayo dito, hindi tayo pwedeng paatras, kailangan ang Warriors puro pasulong," UE head coach Aileen Lebornio said after the game.

UST head coach Haydee Ong meanwhile was very much happy with their overachieving season, though was critical of the way how their season ended.

"May mga fouls na hinahatak na yung mga player ko, hinahawakan yung jersey and they were not calling pero sa amin manipis. Kumbaga sa ano, kinontrol ng referee yung game," Ong said.

"Kung pinaglaro lang kami ng mga referees dito, sana it would be a different outcome."

The scores:

UE (69) – Sto. Domingo 18, Chan 16, Francisco 14, Tacula 8, Cortizano 7, Ramos 4, Requiron 2, Gayacao 0, Antonio 0, Nama 0.

UST (62) – Anies 16, Larosa 16, Gandalla 9, Angeles 9, Rivera 7, Peñaflor 3, Jerez 3, Sanggalang 2, Isanan 2, Aujero 2, Portillo 0, Manuel 0, Magat 0, Valera 0.

Quarter Scores: 10-16, 27-35, 47-56, 69-62.

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