MANILA — The University of Santo Tomas improved its chances of getting a twice-to-beat advantage at the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Basketball Tournament.
This is after the Growling Tigresses moved past Ateneo de Manila University, 80-68, at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Saturday.
Nikki Villasin led the España-based squad in scoring with a career-high 20 points alongside a pair of assists, rebounds, and steals.
Eka Soriano finished with a 14-point, 11-rebound game, while Kent Pastrana delivered 12 markers, seven boards, and six steals.
UST improved to 11-3 at the end of the elimination round and this secures them at least a playoff game for a twice-to-beat incentive.
Only ahead by two possessions at halftime, the Growling Tigresses went on a 23-10 third quarter, and this allowed them to be ahead by as much as 23, 68-45, in the following frame.
The Blue Eagles managed to get as close as 12, 77-65, late in the contest, but that was the nearest that they could get as they fell to 8-6, which would allow them to enter the semis as the fourth seed.
Kacey Dela Rosa led the Ateneans in scoring with 21 points and 11 boards, Ylyssa Eufemiano chipped in 10, while Junize Calago, Jhaz Joson, and Yunika Angala contributed nine, seven, and seven, respectively.
They will face defending champions National University in the Final 4, whom they will need to defeat twice if they hope to enter the finals.
Meanwhile, UST is hoping for NU to defeat the 10-3 University of the Philippines so that they can avoid a playoff for second place and automatically enter the semis as the second seed.
UST 80 — Villasin 20, Soriano 14, Pastrana 12, Santos 10, Ferrer 9, Maglupay 8, Bron 3, Ly 2, Serrano 2, Ambos 0, Dionisio 0, Danganan 0.
Ateneo 68 -– Dela Rosa 21, Eufemanio 10, Calago 9, Joson 7, Angala 7, Villacruz 5, Makanjoula 5, Solis 3, Cancio 1, Gastador 0, Nieves 0.
Quarterscores: 15-17, 39-33, 62-43, 80-68.