THE NU Lady Bulldogs foiled the comeback attempt of the UST Growling Tigresses with a double buzzer beater, 77-76, during the second round of the UAAP Season 86 women’s basketball tournament on Sunday, Nov. 5 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
An offensive rebound by Lady Bulldog guard Stefanie Berberabe led to a three-pointer of Kristine Cayabyab that sent the game into overtime, where Gypsy Canuto drilled a game-winner to seal the victory of the Bustillos-based squad.
UST started cold in the first quarter, missing its first 13 attempts on the floor, allowing the Lady Bulldogs to take command early in the game, 13-0.
The cold streak was broken by a lay-up of Tigress guard Brigette Santos with 4:03 remaining in the first quarter. The España-based squad countered with its own 10-1 run later in the first frame.
NU maintained its lead during the second quarter, converting a series of and-one plays courtesy of Karl Pingol. The first half ended with the Lady Bulldogs leading by five, 39-34.
The NU squad broke the game wide open in the third frame with a 22-6 run, as it led by as much as 17 points, capped by a Pingol lay-up, 57-40. The Tigresses fought back late with their 10-4 scoring run, highlighted by the threes of Nikki Villasin and Tantoy Ferrer.
With 4:28 remaining in the fourth quarter, UST went on a furious 11-1 run, led by the triple of Tacky Tacatac and the twinners of Kent Pastrana and Rocel Dionisio. Pastrana sank the triple with 14 seconds remaining in regulation, giving UST its first lead of the game, 72-69.
During the overtime, Pastrana committed a flagrant foul on Angelica Surada, giving the Lady Bulldog freebies that trimmed UST’s lead to one, 76-75.
Pastrana led the Tigresses with 16 points, while Tacky Tacatac followed with 12 points. Eka Soriano and Tantoy Ferrer chipped 11 markers apiece.
Pingol steered the Lady Bulldogs with 21 markers. Princess Fabruada and Kristine Cayabyab added 11 points each.
The loss sent UST to the third seed with a 7-3 win-loss card, while the defending champions solidified their hold of the solo top with a 9-1 standing.
The UST Growling Tigresses will next face the UE Lady Warriors on Nov. 8, Wednesday, at the Mall of Asia arena. F