The DLSU Lady Archers banked on the late game heroics of rookie Snow Penaranda to overcome a gutsy UE Lady Warriors side, 63-59, to claim their first victory in the UAAP Season 78 Women’s Basketball tournament last Sunday, September 13, at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City.
Penaranda scored nine of her 15 points in the final quarter, making crucial baskets that gave her team the lead in the last few minutes, while also grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds. Veteran Ara Abaca also had a double-double performance with 11 points and 10 rebounds to her name.
The Lady Warriors were once again led by their dynamic duo of Eunique Chan and Ruth Tacula, with both of them scoring 18 points apiece. Cherry Ano-os added 10 points but committed 11 turnovers in the loss.
UE had a hot start in the first quarter, scoring the first seven points of the game in a high octane showing. La Salle would then counter with a 9-1 burst that culminated in a three-pointer by Margarita Dagdagan, which gave the Lady Archers the lead, 9-8. The quarter ended with DLSU leading, 14-12.
The second quarter saw both sides committing numerous errors. The Taft-based squad would then make a 6-0 push that gave them a four-point cushion, 26-22, late in the second frame. However, the Lady Warriors had the last laugh as they would score eight unanswered points to take a 30-26 lead before halftime.
At the beginning of the second half, the Recto-based squad held the biggest lead of the game, 39-30, after a split at the line by Chan. The Lady Archers would step up their defense and limit UE to only two points, while scoring 15 of their own in a balanced attack.
The final frame was a nip-and-tuck affair as the two squads exchanged leads throughout the quarter. Lady Warrior Marie Samapga hit a jumper to give UE a three-point lead, 51-48, with six minutes remaining in the game. Penaranda would then engage the opposing team in a shootout, scoring La Salle’s next seven points. With DLSU leading 57-56, Abaca nailed a long two-point shot to increase their lead to three. Penaranda then scored on a layup to seal the game for the Green and White.
La Salle had a huge advantage on the offensive glass, grabbing 25 rebounds as opposed to the Lady Warriors’ 16. They also got a huge boost from the bench, outscoring UE’s subs 31-6. Both squads, however, did a miserable job in protecting the ball, committing 33 turnovers each.
Up next for the Lady Archers are the FEU Tamaraws, whom they will face on Thursday, September 17, at 10 am in the Blue Eagle Gym.