THE UST Growling Tigresses survived the league’s best UP Fighting Maroons, 74-72, to start the second round of the UAAP Season 86 women’s basketball tournament on a winning note on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Tantoy Ferrer’s floater and Rocel Dionisio’s offensive rebounds kept the tigresses afloat in the first quarter. UST started cold from downtown after shooting a one-out-of-four three point field goal.
A 7-0 run by tigresses Kent Pastrana in the second frame capped with an and-one fastbreak layup broke the game wide open in favor of UST, 31-21.
UP responded with its own 12-0 run led by Kaye Pesquera’s three pointer, stealing the lead from the tigresses, 33-31, with four minutes to play. UST finished the first half with a slim lead over the fighting maroons, 40-39.
In the third quarter, Filipino-French UP guard Louna Ozar spearheaded the Fighting Maroons’ offense with 15 markers. But Pastrana took matters in her own hands during the fourth quarter with a pull up from three that gave the tigresses a six-point lead, 68-62.
A late 11-0 run by Pastrana and Ferrer gave the España-based squad a breather midway through the fourth, 71-62. UST took the opportunity to dominate the paint as maroon Favour Onoh played limited minutes due to early foul trouble.
Tigress Tacky Tacatac iced the game with a split from the line, followed by maroon Christie Bariquit’s buzzer beater trey, 74-72. Ozar had the opportunity to cut the deficit of the Diliman-based squad, but she muffed the free throws that could have cut UP’s deficit to two points.
Pastrana and Ferrer steered the Growling Tigresses by scoring 25 and 19 points, respectively. Ozar starred for the UP Fighting Maroons with 15 points on three-out-of-six three point shooting.
UST is now tied with UP in second place with a 6-2 win-loss record. The NU Lady Bulldogs still leads the league with a 7-1 win-loss card.
The UST Growling Tigresses will face the DLSU Lady Archers on Oct. 29 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. F — A.D. Eguia