MANILA, Philippines – De La Salle University needed a big third quarter to beat the University of Santo Tomas (UST), 56-50, and open its title retention bid in the UAAP Season 77 women's basketball tournament on a bright note Sunday at the Blue Eagle Gym.
The Lady Archers outscored the Tigresses, 18-9, in the third period to break from a one-point halftime lead and build a 41-33 advantage entering the payoff period.
Trisha Piatos scattered 15 of her game-high 23 points from beyond the arc to lead La Salle, which has an almost intact roster from last year's championship team.
Kim Reyes and Lore Rivera combined for 25 points for UST, who finished third last season.
In other matches, the National University Lady Bulldogs beat Adamson University, 62-46; Ateneo turned back University of the Philippines, 54-42; and Far Eastern University routed University of the East (UE), 52-37.
Afril Bernardino scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Lady Bulldogs, who put the game away in the third period with a 52-36 spread.
Danica Jose, now playing her final season for the Lady Eagles, delivered an 18-point, eight-rebound, two-assist performance to lead the way for Ateneo, who are seeking to bounce back from a last-place finish in Season 76.
Meanwhile, April Siat scored 15 points for the Lady Tamaraws, who led wire-to-wire against UE.
Action in the high school volleyball tournament, which took over the first-semester spot of juniors basketball, opens on Saturday at the Adamson Gym.
UST is set to defend its girls title minus EJ Laure, who moved to the collegiate ranks, while UE hopes to extend its decade-long domination of the boys division even without Edward Camposano.
Adamson University is the event host.