FAR Eastern University overcame another double-digit deficit to turn back defending champion La Salle, 61-56, on Thursday and force a sudden death match for the remaining finals berth in the UAAP Season 77 women's basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Tamaraws climbed from a 17-32 hole to win their second straight do-or-die match in the stepladder semifinals.
The winner of the do-or-die match will face unbeaten National University in the title series next week.
April Siat had 21 points and nine rebounds, while Jacq Tanaman had a near triple-double with 16 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists for FEU.
Nikki Garcia had 15 points, including a three-pointer that gave La Salle a 15-point lead in the second period, while Cass Santos added 11 markers and four boards.
In Saturday's first stepladder match, FEU rallied from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to eliminate University of Santo Tomas, 62-61.
The Lady Tamaraws-Lady Archers match is set at 1:30 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena before their male counterparts clash in the Final Four at 4 p.m.
After Siat scored an undergoal stab for a 56-50 Lady Tamaraws lead, the Lady Archers cut down the deficit to two on Santos' two charities and a lay-up by Camille Claro with 1:43 remaining.
But Tanaman hit a jumper which turned out as the dagger, giving FEU a 58-54 cushion in the final 55.6 seconds.
FEU (61) - Siat 21, Tanaman 16, Valenzona 7, Arellado 6, Gabriel 4, Ventura 4, Castro 2, Chan 1, Baldonado 0.
La Salle (56) - Garcia 15, Santos 11, Piatos 8, Ong A. 6, Claro 6, Melendres 3, Vergara 3, Ong M. 2, Castillo 2, Corcuera 0, Scott 0, Lumba 0.
Quarterscores: 6-7; 17-29; 37-45; 62-56.