UAAP: Lady Archers dominate UP to start UAAP Season 85 campaign strong

The DLSU Lady Archers made light work of the UP Fighting Maroons,  73-51, winning their UAAP Season 85 opener earlier today, October 1, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Fina Niantcho tallied a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds to go along with three steals, leading La Salle throughout the one-sided affair. Krizelle San Juan and Lee Sario also chipped in 12 and nine points, respectively. Charmaine Torres was key in facilitating the team’s offense, recording eight points and six assists.

Acrissa Maw led the Fighting Maroons in the scoring column with an 11-point performance, while Stifanny Larrosa and Rhea Sanchez also contributed eight points apiece.

Back in action 

The Lady Archers struggled on offense early, racking up numerous turnovers and struggling to sink their shots. It wasn’t until the 7:30 mark that Torres banked in DLSU’s first basket of the game. After some early offensive woes, La Salle took the lead, 12-5, halfway into the opening period thanks to Niantcho and Joehanna Arciga’s aggression in the paint. 

As the quarter progressed, the Green and White relied on their stark defense to pad their advantage. The opening frame ended with the Lady Archers holding a convincing lead, 19-8.

The team from Taft continued to have their way in the second quarter,  aggressively stifling UP on defense. The Fighting Maroons only managed one basket before the five-minute mark as Niantcho kept having her way inside to run away with the lead, 29-10. UP’s free throw shooting slowly chipped away at their deficit but the first half ended with DLSU building their lead, 35-19.

Closing out the opener 

Both teams rapidly exchanged baskets to open the third quarter but Niantcho continued to anchor her side on both sides of the floor. The Lady Archers found themselves in foul trouble early, having to take Niantcho out with six minutes remaining in the quarter. However, they steadily held onto their lead after pushing the tempo versus UP’s full court defense. 

After struggling in the first half, the pair of Sario and San Juan heated up for the Green and White, scoring a combined 19 points in the second half alone. DLSU continued to prove too much for their opposition from Diliman, pushing their advantage to as much as 32 points before clearing the ends of the bench to close out the game.

On their victory, San Juan was happy but shared that there are still many more games to be played, “It’s a good start, but it’s just a start. I think this is just motivation to do what coach Cholo [Villanueva] tells us to do. We just need to trust [him].”

DLSU Head Coach Cholo Villanueva expressed his excitement  on the return of UAAP Women’s Basketball, “Women’s basketball is slowly showing its mark sa atin. The crowd [was] able to see how much talent these girls have. I’m just happy to see how many in the crowd came out to see what they have.”

After this convincing opening game, the DLSU Lady Archers will look to build on their success on Wednesday, October 5, versus the UST Growling Tigresses at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.

The Scores: 

DLSU 73 – Niantcho 16, San Juan 12, Sario 9, Torres 8, Arciga 8, Binaohan 7, Dalisay 5, Ahmed 4, Jimenez 2, Espinas 2, De La Paz 0, Camba 0, Villava-Cua 0

UP 51  – Maw 11, Larrosa 8, Sanchez 8, Bariauit 5, Pesquera 5, Tapawan 4, Jimenez 4, Domingo 2, Vingno 2, Lozada 2, Gonzalez 0, Sauz 0, Rivera 0

Quarter Scores: 19-8, 35-19, 22-19, 73-51

Diego Manzano

By Diego Manzano

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