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Lady Thunder edge Patriots in double OT

MANILA, Philippines - Aileen Balmatero scored on a putback with 4.3 seconds to go as Rizal Technological University edged defending champion La Salle-Dasmariñas, 58-56, in a double-overtime thriller to cop the 19th National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) women’s basketball crown at the Pasay City Sports Complex.

The 19-year-old Balmatero hit the winning basket after teammate Dalia Quilang bungled an attempt, enabling the Lady Patriots to snatch the title in their rubber match. Balmatero finished with 23 points and bagged the MVP plum.

Alyssa Bulanquit scored 10 points for RTU, which foiled La Salle-Dasmariñas’ three-peat bid in the tournament backed by Mikasa and Molten Balls, and ANI AgriNurture Inc.

RTU took Game 1 with a 71-54 win, while La Salle-Dasma bounced back in Game 2 with a 60-54 victory.

Lady Patriot Marideth Caraan came through with a basket to tie the count at 56 with 49.4 seconds left but Balmatero stepped up and took over for the Lady Thunder.

Eunice Alipio scored only a point for RTU but her split forced the second extension at 49.

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RTU’s Joan Tiempo made six points, including a free throw in the last eight seconds for the first overtime at 43.

Diane Gelisan led the Lady Patriots with 28 points while De Gomas had 14 before fouling out.

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