The Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles’ fine start to their UAAP Season 80 Women’s Basketball Tournament continues after a slender 52-51 win against the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons.
Returnee Cara Buendia scored 10 points to lead the Katipunan school, while it was Katrina Guytingco’s end-game heroics that sealed the deal for the Lady Eagles today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
“We need to be consistent on the good things. We prepared for UP. I felt we prepared well for them but they just kept on coming back. In the end it all mattered who had the breaks. We can’t rely on the breaks all the time. We really have to carve our own destiny,” shared Ateneo mentor John Flores.
After a tight first three quarters in which Ateneo led 38-36, UP got the lead courtesy of Iriss Isip’s trey, giving the Lady Maroons a slim 45-46 edge from the Lady Eagles. The Lady Eagles instantly retaliated, as veterans Guytingco and Tina Deacon’s produced a 5-0 run to make it 50-46 at the 2:20 mark.
Lou Ordoveza kept things close with a basket after a fine team play as the Lady Maroons cut the deficit to 48-50 at 1:24. Ateneo failed to answer back immediately, and another good sequence allowed Isip to sink another trey which gave State U a 51-50 breather with with only 31.6 seconds remaining in the ballgame.
Flores called for time, and a broken play forced the Lady Eagles to improvise. The ball landed in the hands of Guytingco, who clinched the game-winning layup. Just 15.5 seconds were left afterwards, but State U failed to, respond, having used all their timeouts.
Ateneo ultimately prevailed 52-51 against a tough UP side in what was the former’s second straight victory this season.
“It’s all about focus. The last two games there have been a lot of shortages in terms of focus. We already know what they’re gonna do. We have an idea what they can do individually. It’s a mental aspect of the game where we have to be consistent,” concluded Flores.
The Lady Eagles moved the ball better with 17 assists compared to the Lady Maroons’ eight. Isip led UP with 16 points, while Daphne Esplana followed her example with 12 points.
Up next for Ateneo (2-0) is a date with the Far Eastern University at 8:00 AM, while State U (0-2) shall play University of the East afterwards at 10:00 AM. Both games shall be held on September 17 in Araneta.
ADMU 52 – Buendia 10, Deacon 9, Go 7, Yam 6, Guytingco 6, Joson 6, Uy De Ong 3, Villamor 3, Cancio 2, Newsome 0, Morelos 0.
UP 51 – Isip 16, Esplana 12, Ordoveza 7, Domingo 7, Bascon 3, Ongsiako 3, Rodas 2, Pesquera 1, Tan 0, Cruz 0, Viray 0.
Quarterscores: 16-8, 25-23, 38-36, 52-51.