The DLSU Lady Archers continued their stellar run in UAAP Season 78 as they extended their winning streak to 12, defeating the Ateneo Lady Eagles, 63-58, in their UAAP Women’s Basketball Tournament game yesterday at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City.
Ara Abaca once again led the way with 16 points and seven rebounds. Alyanna Vergara added 14 points, while Ana Castillo had a double-double, contributing 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Ateneo was led by Danica Jose, who had a monster game after dominating the paint with 23 points and 17 rebounds. Hazelle Yam and Caramia Buendia scored eight and six points, respectively, to help the Lady Eagle cause.
DLSU came out firing on all cylinders in the first quarter, scoring the first eight points of the game. Defensive adjustments from ADMU, however, slowed down the Lady Archers and gave momentum to the Lady Eagles. Ateneo led by two, 16-14, after one quarter of play.
The Lady Eagles continued to set the pace in the early part of the second quarter, leading 24-18, at one point. Ateneo, however, was not able to stop Vergara in the quarter, scoring all 14 of her points in the frame. Thanks to her efforts, La Salle held a 36-31 advantage at the half.
Both teams struggled for points in the third quarter. Good defense from both sides caused each team to struggle on the offensive side of the ball. Ateneo, in the end, outscored DLSU, 13-11, but the Taft-based squad held a 47-44 lead entering the final period.
The two teams continued to exchange points in the fourth quarter. A fresh Abaca, who sat most of the third quarter due to three fouls, set the pace for the Lady Archers, scoring 10 points in the final period. A balanced attack from the Lady Eagles kept them in the game till the very end.
With 1:27 left, and DLSU clinging to a 58-55 lead, ADMU missed two chances to inch closer to La Salle. Jose missed two free throws while Jolina Go missed a wide open lay-up. Again, down by only three, with 20 seconds left, Ateneo had another chance to tie the game. However, Abaca sealed the game after she intercepted the inbound pass and hit two free throws to clinch the win for the Lady Archers.
The two teams were pretty much equal in every statistical category, except three-point shooting. The Lady Archers made nine three pointers while ADMU was only able to convert two of their 14 attempts. Notably, the Lady Eagles did a good job in defending La Salle star Camille Claro, who only made two of her nine attempts from the field. Claro, though, was still able to contribute in other areas, dishing out seven assists and getting two steals.
The Lady Archers will play their final regular season game on Sunday, November 15, against the undefeated National University Lady Bulldogs with a chance not just to put a dent to NU’s potentially perfect season, but also a shot at claiming the tournament’s top seed.
DLSU (63) – Abaca 16, Vergarra 14, Castillo 10, Dagdagan 9, Claro 6, Roxas 6, Ong 1, Revillosa 1, Penaranda 0, Gonzales 0, Vela 0, Arciga 0.
ADMU (58) – Jose 23, Yam 8, Buendia 6, Aseron 6, Go 5, Guytingco 4, Tomita 2, Javier 2, Deacon 2, Nitorreda 0, Posadas 0, Lamar 0.
Quarter scores: 14-16, 36-31, 47-44, 63-58.