In their fifth game of UAAP Season 85, the DLSU Lady Archers defeated the FEU Lady Tamaraws to record their fourth win, 65-58, earlier today, October 15, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Fina Niantcho carved out another dominant performance for the Lady Archers as she scored 16 points and snagged a game-high 19 rebounds. Guards Charmaine Torres and Lee Sario supplied 16 and nine points, respectively, while providing much-needed spacing with two three-pointers each.
Meanwhile, Danica Pacia stuffed the stat sheet for the Lady Tamaraws as she scored 16 points with three three-pointers, nine rebounds, three steals, and one block, while Camile Taguiam put up 13 points.
Grit and grind start
Both teams struggled on offense from the get-go, but DLSU managed to build a lead as their gritty full-court defense translated into layups in the open floor. FEU eventually got into the flow of the game after pushing the tempo on consecutive stops. Consecutively, the two teams traded blows in what quickly became a scrappy affair, with the score reaching an 11-all deadlock at the halftime mark of the quarter, with DLSU carried by Niantcho’s steady play on both ends of the floor. Neither team refused to let up in the action that ensued, going basket-for-basket against each other’s suffocating halfcourt defense. After gaining control early into the matchup, the Green and White ended the opening frame with a narrow two-point lead, 22-20.
Niantcho opened up La Salle’s second quarter by scoring with a hook shot to increase their lead to four, 24-20. The two teams stayed neck-and-neck in the first few minutes of the second frame, as Pacia single-handedly kept her team in the game—going shot-for-shot against the team from Taft. Slowly but surely, La Salle built a lead for themselves, continuing to ride their hot three-point shooting and string together stops with their two-three zone defense. Torres’ scoring sparked the Lady Archers’ momentum, hitting a shot from beyond the arc as she pushed the Taft-based squad’s lead to nine, 36-27. At the 2:34 mark in the second period, FEU called a timeout after going down, 40-27. After seeing themselves fall short by double digits, the Lady Tamaraws answered with an 8-0 run to cut the Lady Archers’ lead to five, 40-35, entering the halftime break.
After suffering multiple turnovers to start the second half, DLSU got off to a 5-0 start—courtesy of a three-pointer by Bettina Binaohan and two free throws by Torres—to increase their lead back to double digits, 45-35. Undeterred, the Lady Tamaraws hit two three-pointers of their own, as a 10-2 run brought them within two points with 2:30 left in the quarter. It was all up to the Lady Archers to close the quarter, as their stellar defense only allowed one point from their opponent as they secured a six-point lead going into the final frame.
Another cold start combined with continued terrific defense played by both sides–prevented successful scoring for the first two minutes of the final quarter. Breaking loose, the Lady Archers quickly exploded with two quick baskets by Jeehan Ahmed and Sario, bringing the score to 56-46 with seven minutes left. The Lady Tamaraws rallied a crucial 8-0 run to get themselves back in the ball game after facing a ten-point deficit. After another standoff between the teams, Sario proved herself to be the hero of the fourth quarter, as she buried a dagger three from the corner and scored a crucial steal in the final minute to seal a hard-fought win for DLSU.
The DLSU Lady Archers will look to bag their fourth straight win with hopes of breaking the NU Bulldogs’ historic 100-game winning streak on October 19, 1 pm at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.
DLSU 65 – Niantcho 16, Torres 16, Sario 9, Binaohan 8, Ahmed 8, Arciga 5, Dalisay 3, Jimenez 2, de la Paz 0, Espinas 0, Camba
FEU 58 – Pacia 16, Taguiam 13, Go 9, Obien 8, Santos 5, Jumuad 4, Cunanan 2, Paras 0, Salvani 0, Aquino 0
Quarter Scores: 22-20, 40-35, 52-46, 65-58