Lady Archers hunt down Tigresses in rubber match, book UAAP women's finals berth

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Lady Archers hunt down Tigresses in rubber match, book UAAP women's finals berth
DLSU's Bettina Binaohan

MANILA, Philippines — The DLSU Lady Archers are back in the UAAP women's basketball finals for the first time since UAAP Season 79 after a 74-69 squeaker past the UST Growling Tigresses in their do-or-die Final Four match at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The Lady Archers, whose twice-to-beat advantage was erased by the Growling Tigresses to force the rubber match, staved off a UST fight back in the fourth salvo.

"First, I'd like to give credit to UST, they played one hell of a series against us, but we were the better team this time around." said La Salle head coach Cholo Villanueva.

"We made the proper adjustment on what they're doing in their previous games." he added.

La Salle needed to eke out some clutch makes from the free throw line after UST erased a nine-point deficit before Rocel Dionisio scored on a layup with 47 ticks left to tie the game at 69-all.

Bettina Binaohan, who was named UAAP Co-Player of the Week recently, nailed two pressure filled free throws to give La Salle back the advantage, 71-69.

La Salle then forced the 24-shot clock violation in the next possession to get the ball back. A split from Marga Jimenez held the door ajar for the UST Tigresses.

MVP-apparent Eka Soriano narrowly missed an and-one opportunity with 8.4 ticks left that proved costly for UST. Though she was fouled in the process, Soriano missed her first free throw that derailed the game plan to leave the second freebie short.

Still, there was still breathing room for UST to pull the rug from under the Lady Archers when Lee Sario missed both free throws with 6.7 remaining on the clock.

But Sario was able to get her own rebound to deny UST of the comeback.

Charmine Torres tacked on two free throws to arrive at the final score.

Fina Niantcho Tchuido paced the Lady Archers with 18 points and 12 boards. She also had two steals and two blocks.

Binaohan, who claimed Player of the Game honors added 17 markers, 10 boards, two assists, two steals, and a block. Torres chipped in 16 markers and eight boards.

Agatha Bron paced UST in the losing effort with 13 markers. Soriano finished with 10 points, nine boards, six assists, three steals, and a block.

Game 1 of the finals between La Salle and NU tips off on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Of note, La Salle gave NU their only loss of the season and also snapped a 108-game win streak by the Lady Bulldogs.

The scores:

DLSU (74) -- Niantcho 18, Binaohan 17, Torres 16, Sario 12, Jimenez 5, Dalisay 3, Arciga 2, De La Paz 1, Camba 0, Ahmed 0, Espinas 0.
UST (69) -- Bron 13, Soriano 10, Dionisio 9, Villasin 8, Tacatac 8, Pangilinan 8, Ambos 8, Serrano 3, Santos 2.

Quarterscores: 21-18, 38-34, 57-50, 74-69



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