MANILA, Philippines -- De La Salle University clinched a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final 4 of the UAAP Season 85 women's basketball tournament after crushing the University of the East, 66-41, on Saturday at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.
La Salle finished the elimination round with a 12-2 win-loss record, giving them the second seed. The Lady Archers will enter the Final 4 with an eight-game winning streak as well.
Coach Jay-R Aquino took charge of the Lady Archers in lieu of head coach Cholo Villanueva, who is on MPBL duty with Batangas Embassy Chill in its South Division finals series against Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines.
“We played out of our game plan,” said Aquino. “Gusto namin is to make them turn the ball over, pressure the ball, but hindi namin ginawa yun nung naghahabol sila. We didn’t make them uncomfortable during the game. That’s why this thing happened.”
Up by as much as 23 points in the first half, La Salle saw its cushion trimmed to just 34-30 with 3:59 left in the third quarter thanks to the efforts of Joyce Terrinal, Minslie Paule, and Kamba Kone.
But La Salle regained control in the final period, with Bettina Binaohan, Lee Sario, and Ameng Torres taking charge to push their advantage to 66-39 with just two minutes to play.
Sario led the Taft school with 18 points while Binaohan had a monster game with 14 points and 17 rebounds.
Torres contributed eight points and seven rebounds as well for La Salle. Marga Jimenez had six points and six assists while Fina Niantcho Tchuido was able to seize 13 rebounds as well for the Lady Archers.
The Lady Archers’ bench mob proved key as they produced 48 points to the Lady Warriors’ six. La Salle also pounded the paint with 34 inside points versus UE’s 12.
UE ended the season in last place with a 0-14 standing.
Terrinal led the Lady Warriors with 15 points and nine rebounds followed by Paule’s 10 points, five rebounds, and three assists. Kone had 22 rebounds to go along with her eight points.
Rendelle Caraig contributed 11 rebounds for the UE cause.
La Salle (66) - Sario 18, Binaohan 14, Torres 8, Jimenez 6, Arciga 4, De La Paz 4, Niantcho Tchuido 4, Dalisay 4, Camba 2, Ahmed 2, San Juan 0, Espinas 0, Bacierto 0, Castillo 0.
UE (41) - Terrinal 15, Paule 10, Kone 8, Delig 6, Caraig 2, Sajol 0, Lorena 0, Silva 0, Dela Rosa 0, Gervacio 0, Nama 0, De Leon 0.
Quarters: 13-5, 32-15, 48-35, 66-41.