MANILA, Philippines -- MVP shoo-in Allana Lim waxed hot in the payoff period as spotless Far Eastern University (FEU) tripped La Salle, 64-56, Sunday to pull within a triumph of a perfect championship season in the 75th UAAP women's basketball finals at the Filoil Flying V Arena.
Lim, who topped the statistical points race, fired 10 of her 17 points in the fourth to lead the Lady Tams' breakaway to their 15th straight win after a sweep of the elims, earning the distinction of being the first basketball team in the league to go 15-0 in a season.
The Lady Tams, who enjoy thrice-to-beat finals incentive owing to their elims sweep, will try to put the punctuation mark to an immaculate title run with a title-clinching 16th victory on Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
"We need one more win. As I've been telling them everytime we win games, we don't have the right to celebrate yet. Not until we win the crown," FEU coach Allan Albano said in Filipino.
He said they expect the Lady Archers to give them a tough time in the second game.
"We'll be ready for the second game. We'll prepare hard, especially knowing La Salle's determination to bounce back and their proven system,"said Albano, looking to give FEU its second straight diadem and 11th overall.
After a scoreless stint in the first half, Lim asserted herself in the last 20 minutes, doing the most damage in a 9-2 salvo that gave FEU a 58-49 cushion entering the last 4:57.
Lim was hampered by cramps in the stretch but Soc Borja (13 markers, five steals) and Camille Sambile (11 points, 12 rebounds) took the cudgels and put the finishing touches to FEU's conquest.
Trisha Piatos paced the Lady Archers with 15 points while Aracelie added a double-double effort of 10 makers and 12 boards.
FEU 64 - Lim 17, Borja 13, Columna 12, Sambile 11, Gesalan 5, Soriano 2, Siat 2, Tanaman 2, Supnet 0.
DLSU 56 - Piatos 15, Abaca 10, Viterbo 9, Wilson 7, Melendres 5, Santos 4, Garcia 4, Ong 2, Corcuera 0.
Quarterscores: 9-8, 18-21, 43-41, 64-56.