Gloriani shines in the clutch as Parañaque fends off Taguig to claim WNBL crown


Posted at Dec 05 2021 08:27 PM

The Parañaque Lady Aces are champions of the first professional season of the WNBL. Photo courtesy of NBL-Pilipinas.
The Parañaque Lady Aces are champions of the first professional season of the WNBL. Photo courtesy of NBL-Pilipinas.

MANILA - AJ Gloriani came up with the biggest bucket of the game to push the Parañaque Lady Aces past Taguig, 83-78 in Game 2 of the Women's National Basketball League (WNBL) Finals on Sunday at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Though threatened by the gritty Lady Generals, the Lady Aces still completed a sweep of their best-of-3 championship series to emerge as victors of the first professional season of the pioneering women's basketball league.

With the game knotted at 76 with 38.9 seconds left, Gloriani knocked down a clutch triple plus the harm to put the Lady Aces up. 

Clare Castro followed it up with a putback as Gloriani missed the freebie. A miss by Monique Del Carmen led to a Gloriani find for Castro to push their lead to seven with 22 seconds left.

Gloriani had 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting with five assists in the game. Moreover, she was adjudged as the Finals MVP after averaging 11.5 points on 63-percent shooting from deep with 3.6 assists in the series.

"Talagang pinahirapan nila kami ngayon," said Gloriani about Taguig. "Sa teammates ko, lahat kami naghirap at pinakita namin na we deserve this championship."

Tournament MVP Allana Lim scored 30 points and grabbed nine rebounds while Castro had 14 points, nine rebounds, and seven blocks.

The Lady Aces dominated the first pro season of the women's cage league, winning all eight games in the eliminations before sweeping Stan Quezon in the semis. Their Game 2 triumph extended their winning streak to 12 games.

Chu Bacaro scored 23 points with six rebounds while Janeth Sison posted 16 points and 10 rebounds but Taguig fell short in its bid to force a deciding third game.

Bacaro's corner triple gave the Lady Generals a 76-74 lead, 1:39 remaining, but her foul on Marydyn Tingcang, who subsequently left with an injury, allowed Mary Joy Galicia to sink two foul shots to tie the game.

Both teams went empty-handed in the next three possessions before Gloriani converted the shot from the right elbow plus a foul on Monique del Carmen.

Gloriani couldn't complete the four-point play but Castro got the offensive rebound before scoring a putback to make it a five-point game for the Lady Aces.

The Scores:

Paranaque 83 — Lim 30, Castro 14, Angeles 13, Gloriani 12, Reyes 5, Galicia 4, Alcoy 2, Bahuyan 2, Solis 1, Tingcang 0, Siat 0, Ventura 0.

Taguig 78 — Bacaro 23, Sison 16, Capilit 12, Del Carmen 9, Gandalla 9, Felisarta 7, Hortaleza 2, Duazo 0, Ventura 0, Positos 0, Batnag 0.

Quarterscores: 15-14, 34-36, 57-55, 83-78.