By Anton Villegas
The Growling Tigresses destroyed the UP Fighting Maroons with the help of Tacky Tacatac’s 24-point outburst, 85–52, in the UAAP Season 85 women’s basketball tournament, Wednesday morning at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.
UST gained help from two of their leading scorers, Tacatac and MVP frontrunner Eka Soriano as they scored a combined 37 points out of the UST’s 85 markers.
Soriano also played as the court general for this game as she dished out 11 dimes in the game.
The UP Fighting Maroons tried to fight UST with their presence outside the arc but they poorly shot the ball, only draining 26.3 percent from deep with Kaye Pesquera unloading four of UP’s five total three-pointers.
The Tigresses started the game with a scary presence in the paint as Rocel Dionisio muscled up inside and scored seven straight points in the opening minutes of the first period. The Tigresses asserted their dominance as they built an early 18–3 lead.
UP’s Marielle Vingno tried to pour water into the fire as she scored the last basket in the closing seconds of the first period to chop down the lead to nine, 22–13.
The second salvo started out decent for the Fighting Maroons as they trimmed the lead to five points in the opening minutes. UST answered with a 14–0 run to widen the gap to 19 points credited to Edel Araza’s insertion into the game and starting the run with a basket from downtown.
Soriano finished the half with a mid-range jumper at the buzzer to extend the UST lead to 24, 49–25, with Dionisio scoring all her 11 points in the first half.
The third quarter was not much of a different storyline as the Tigresses just hit full throttle as they had a 13–4 run in their hands, though Kaye Pesquera had different plans as she drained back-to-back threes to try to narrow the gap down, 64–37.
Soriano responded as she sank a timely three-pointer to give UST the momentum coming into the final salvo, 67–39.
The final period just looked like a formality for UST to claim the win but they still managed to extend the lead to as big as 37 points thanks to Tacatac’s presence in the last quarter and the daggers of the supporting casts like Joylyn Pangilinan who drained the exclamation point from rainbow country, 85–52.
The UST Growling Tigresses will aim to continue their winning ways when they play against the FEU Lady Tamaraws on Saturday at noon in the same venue.
UST (85) — Tacatac 24, Soriano 13, Dionisio 11, Villasin 11, Santos 7, Serrano 6, Araza 5, Bron 3, Pangilinan 3, Ambos 2, Villapando 0.
UP (52) — Pesquera 12, Bariquit 11, Maw 11, Tapawan 6, Vingno 5, Sanchez 3, Sanchez 2, Larrosa 2, Lebico 2, Domingo 0, Lozada 0, Gonzales 0, Sauz 0, Lara 0, Rivera 0.
Quarter Scores: 22–13, 49–25, 67–39, 85–52.