A HEAD-ON DUEL against last season’s champions, Institute of Physical Education and Athletics (IPEA), awaits the Faculty of Arts and Letters (AB) Women’s Basketball Team after the team handily disposed the College of Rehabilitation Sciences (CRS) last April 20.
Leading AB to secure a final four slot in this year’s Thomasian Goodwill Games were Alaina Dimdam with 22 points and team captain Jonne Stephanie Senga with 13 points and seven rebounds.
Both squads started slow and were plagued with turnovers, finishing the first frame with only six points each.
The trio of CRS’ Maricar Lagrisola, Trina Presto, and Lyla Conde provided the lift for their squad as they secured a 15-9 lead.
However, last year’s runner-up came back with a seven-to-nothing run and closed the first 20 minutes of play with a one-point lead, 16-15.
AB looked like a team ready to run with the victory in the third quarter as the backcourt tandem of Dimdam and Senga delivered a nine-to-nothing blow at 25-19. But charities courtesy of CRS’ Lagrisola kept her team within striking distance, 25-22.
AB gained further momentum anew with another eight-to-nothing run as Jerrean Seggara and Senga converted points in the paint, finishing off at 33-22.
AB continued to maintain its lead as Dimdam delivered a trey, pushing the lead to 16 points at 45-29 and denying any chance for CRS to come back with the clock winding down.
Despite a slow start, Senga said their coaches motivated the team members to deliver more and get back to their usual play for the rest of the game.
“Nung halftime sobrang pinaalalahanan kami ng coach namin kung ano talaga ‘yung laro namin kasi for the past few games, hindi talaga ‘yun ‘yung laro na lumalabas sa amin. Pero since kailangan talaga naming manalo this game for our seniors, for our team, [and] for our coaches, ‘yun ginising nila kami,” Senga said.
Last year, IPEA defeated AB in their finals duel, 59-52. This year’s two unbeaten squads will face off in a semifinal rubbermatch on April 22 at the P. Noval court. F VANN MARLO M. VILLEGAS