Soriano shows way as UST forces decider for last finals slot
By Ernest Martin Tuazon
The UST Growling Tigresses erased the twice-to-beat advantage of the DLSU Lady Archers, forcing a deciding match for the last finals slot in the UAAP Season 85 women’s basketball tournament, 68–57, Wednesday morning, at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
The Tigresses utilized a 12–0 blast to close out the first half that began from a triple by MVP frontrunner Eka Soriano, and ended with a wild layup conversion from Soriano herself, 38–23.
In the first half alone, Soriano posted a statline of 16 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals to will UST to a 15-point advantage. For comparison, DLSU only scored 23 in the half.
UST was able to extend their lead to as much as 16 with a Dionisio make off the pick-and-roll from Soriano, then Joylyn Pangilinan nailed a go-ahead triple to close the third frame, 53–37.
In the final salvo, the Lady Archers inched within eight markers with the back-to-back inside hits from Charmine Torres and Fina Tchuido, but a floater from Tacky Tacatac stretched the UST lead to double digits with 2:07 left, 64–54.
Soriano finished the match with a double-double of 23 points and 11 boards to go along with five dimes and two steals, while Tacatac and Pangilinan scored 17 and 11 markers, respectively.
NU, whose 108-game streak was snapped by DLSU, awaits for the winner of this series as they defeated Ateneo in the first Final Four match in nearly nine years.
As of writing, no schedule has been given by the league for the deciding match between UST and La Salle.
UST 68 — Soriano 23, Tacatac 17, Pangilinan 11, Dionisio 7, Santos 3, Villasin 3, Serrano 3, Bron 1, Ambos 0, Araza 0.
La Salle 57 — Torres 16, Niantcho Tchuido 10, Sario 10, Binaohan 7, De La Paz 4, Arciga 4, Jimenez 2, Ahmed 2, Dalisay 2, Espinas 0.
Quarters: 14–12, 38–23, 53–37, 68–57.