Tigresses falter in the clutch against DLSU, finish season at third

By Ernest Martin Tuazon

(Photo by Miguel Angelo Sumalinog/TomasinoWeb)

The UST Growling Tigresses capped off their UAAP Season 85 women’s basketball run with a loss to the DLSU Lady Archers, 69–74, Sunday afternoon, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

With the defeat, the Tigresses scored a bronze-medal finish to end the season.

UST rookie Rocel Dionisio shined in the clutch as she willed UST to knot the match at 69-all with five of her nine points scored, most of which in the paint, with 40 seconds remaining.

DLSU’s suffocating defense led to a shot clock expiration for UST, and followed by a Marga Jimenez free throw that swelled España’s deficit to three, 69–72, with 11.7 seconds left.

In hopes to send the game to overtime, presumed Mythical Team member Tacky Tacatac missed the game-tying triple.

Season MVP Eka Soriano grabbed Tacatac’s miss and drew a foul, but failed to make both charities that would have trimmed the DLSU lead to one.

La Salle’s Charmaine Torres iced the game with two free throws to send the Lady Archers to a date against the NU Lady Bulldogs in the finals.

For the most part, the Tigresses trailed in the back-and-forth affair against DLSU, with their largest deficit at nine markers through the halfway point of the final salvo.

Turnovers were a big factor in the Tigresses third-place finish as they committed 21 errors compared to La Salle’s 13.

DLSU also had four players in double-figures compared to UST’s two, with foreign student-athlete (FSA) Fina Tchuido leading the way with 18 points, 12 boards, two steals, and two blocks.

UST, meanwhile, was led by Agatha Bron’s 13-point performance, while Soriano and Tacatac had off-nights, being able to only score 10 and eight markers, respectively.

In the post-game press conference, head coach Haydee Ong bared that the only ineligible player in the current roster is Joylyn Pangilinan, who will turn 25 next year.

Ong expects a much-more loaded roster come Season 86, with Tantoy Ferrer and the duo of Erika and Nicole Danganan returning from their respective ACL injuries.

Former Lady Archer Kent Pestrana will now be eligible to play next season after completing her residency.

Two rookies are set to make their UAAP debut next year, with one of them being an FSA, a much-needed boost to UST’s frontcourt.

The scores:

La Salle (74) — Tchuido 18, Binaohan 17, Torres 16, Sario 12, Jimenez 5, Dalisay 3, Arciga 2, De La Paz 1

UST (69) — Bron 13, Soriano 10, Dionisio 9, Tacatac 8, Pangilinan 8, Villasin 8, Ambos 8, Serrano 3, Santos 2

Quarter Scores: 18–21, 34–38, 5

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