UAAP: Lady Archers drop first game of Season 86 to Lady Tamaraws in gritty matchup, 75-68

The DLSU Lady Archers were outlasted by the FEU Lady Tamaraws in their opening game of UAAP Season 86, 75-68, earlier today, October 1, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

In the losing effort, Lady Archer rookie Tricia Mendoza stepped up for her team with 23 points followed by Angel Villava-Cua, and Luisa Dela Paz who scored 10 and nine points, respectively.

For the Lady Tamaraws, Josee Kaputu was recognized as the Player of the Game, contributing 27 points and exhibiting her defensive prowess. Queenie Aquino and Jamerin Delos Santos managed to chip in 13 and 10 points apiece.

Adjusting to the pace

It was a slow start for La Salle during the opening minutes of the game as they struggled to make offensive plays. For the FEU Tamaraws, it was Aquino who began the scoring with a layup and Delos Santos who followed with a three-pointer to take the lead early in the first quarter, 8-0. The Lady Archers began to adjust briefly toward the opponent’s pesky plays, which enabled them to convert baskets with free throws and a layup by Mendoza. With less than two minutes in the first quarter, Villava-Cua was able to boost DLSU with a three-pointer, 20-14.

Despite trailing, the team from Taft did not let the score pull away as an exchange of baskets continued to take place in the second quarter. At the 6:27 mark, Paraiso was able to convert a basket to cut the lead by nine, but Delos Santos scored a field goal from a fast break. After a putback from Mendoza, DLSU maintained steady defense to keep FEU from racking up their score. With a minute remaining in the second quarter, Kaputu scored from a jumper and Paraiso immediately answered back with a shot from behind the arc to set La Salle back by nine going into the halftime break, 42-33.

Incomplete comeback

The second half looked to tell a different story for the Lady Archers. After falling behind by as much as nine points, La Salle was engaged on the defensive end to create possessions. Looking to make a comeback, Sario scored two field goals to complete a 6-0 run, 39-44. But the Lady Tamaraws were able to maintain the five-point lead and were able to build upon it, not taking any chances that benefited DLSU. For every La Salle basket, FEU was able to have an answer. As the buzzer sounded to end the third quarter, the Lady Archers failed to find value with their efforts with the deficit still at nine, 55-46.

The fourth quarter saw both teams come out of the huddle blazing, with Lady Tamaraws Honey Caringal and Aquino hitting back-to-back threes. Not going down without a fight, Lady Archers Luisa San Juan and Villava-Cua answered with back-to-back threes of their own. The back-and-forth battle was more evident early in the quarter, 56-66. Despite this, FEU proved to be the steadier team. Keeping DLSU’s hopes alive, Mendoza scored six points in the last three minutes, 66-72. 

This would not be enough, however, as the story was the same for all quarters. In the end, the Lady Archers failed to convert opportunities into points, ultimately dropping their first game of the season to the Lady Tamaraws, 75-68.

DLSU Head Coach Cholo Villanueva shared his sentiments on the game and how the team got off on a bad start. He also mentioned how the team will need to see and measure the level of physicality in the games, “[In] the first half, we just wanted to see how far we can go…we had major stops but in the end, we turned the ball over; that’s what we’re going to work on in the next game.” 

On the game’s top scorer, Mendoza who remained resilient throughout the match, Coach Villanueva commented, “Tricia Mendoza is like a rookie-veteran.” He furthered how she is already used to the UAAP atmosphere, coming from Adamson University. He hopes to see more improvements from his other players as well for them to step up in their upcoming games. 

Looking forward to their first win of Season 86, the Lady Archers look to take on the ADMU Blue Eagles in a heated rivalry matchup for their second game on Wednesday, October 4, with the venue to still be confirmed.

The Scores:

FEU 75 – Kaputu 27, Aquino 13, Delos Santos 10, Manguit 9, Nagma 5, Salvani 4, Caringal 3, Ong 2, Paras 2

DLSU 68 – Mendoza 23, Villava-cua 10, Dela Paz 9, Binaohan 7, Sario 7, Paraiso 6, San Juan 5, Bojang 1, Bacierto 0, Delos Reyes 0

Quarter Scores: 15-24, 42-33, 55-46, 75-68

Ysa Bakabak

By Ysa Bakabak

Gab Ortiz

By Gab Ortiz

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