UAAP Women's Basketball: UST survives third-straight knockout, eliminates Adamson

Danine Cruz on Nov 25, 2018 02:46 PM
UST survives third-straight knockout, eliminates Adamson
UST performs well under pressure.

University of Santo Tomas withstood a gutsy Adamson University to climb up to the next level of the UAAP Season 81 women’s basketball step-ladder semifinals, 78-69, Sunday afternoon at the Araneta Coliseum.

This is the Tigresses third straight knockout game and so far, they have been performing their best under pressure.

"I'm speechless. First of all thank you kay Lord for another opportunity for us to play another day. Of course credit to my coaches, my staff, to the players, to the team, Grace [Irebu], Sai [Larosa], [Loraine] Capilit, they're playing their hearts out because every time we play, it's a knockout," said UST head coach Haydee Ong.

Anchored on Irebu's dominance on the paint, the Tigresses closed the first half with a comfortable 18-point lead, 43-25. Their sweet plays continued and even led by as much as 21 points, 46-25, in the middle of the third.

However, the Lady Falcons did not go down without a fight. Adamson surged to a 12-3 run cutting down UST's lead to just two points, 63-61, with 5:53 left in the game.

UST stood strong and remained composed throughout the Adamson storm. Starting with Loraine Capilit's triple at 3:43, the Tigresses stretched their lead to remain in the running for the Finals berth.

The Tigresses though suffered a blow as Ruby Portillo was called for a disqualifying foul after going for a steal against Mariz Cacho in the beginning of the fourth. As per Ong, they will be appealing the case as she needs Portillo's services in their next game.

"So we have survived three knockout games already, so I'm just so happy. But I'm not happy about the officiating. We want to appeal on Portillo's disqualifying foul. Hopefully, the Commissioner's Office  will grant that," said Ong.

Season 81 MVP Irebu displayed why she owns the title with 28 points and 20 rebounds. Larosa, who is also part of the Mythical Team, chipped in 17 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

"Deserve namin ito. Deserve ng team, lalo na ng coaches namin. Simula pa lang ng first knockout game namin, hindi nila kami iniwan. Sobrang masaya kami na lahat ng knockout games namin, napapalo namin," Larosa said.

Mythical team member Mar Prado towed the Lady Falcons with 34 points, 10 rebounds, seven steals. This is her second 30-point game in the season. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to extend their season.

UST will take on second seed FEU on Wednesday. The winner of the game will face defending champion National University in the best-of-three Finals series.

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