FAR Eastern University locked up the second-seed in the UAAP Season 81 women's basketball Final Four with a 67-63 victory over Adamson Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Clare Castro towered over her foes to notch 25 points and 16 rebounds, on top of an assist and a block as the Lady Tamaraws earn a twice-to-beat advantage in the stepladder semifinals.
"Last year, Final Four lang kami. Ngayon, nagkaroon pa ng twice-to-beat," said coach Bert Flores.
Valerie Mamaril chipped in 14 points, four assists and three rebounds, Blanche Bahuyan had 10 points and four assists, and Fatima Quiapo got seven points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals.
FEU had to get its act together late after surrendering the lead, 63-62 after a pair of Mar Prado freebies with 2:20 remaining.
Bahuyan was quick to retort to take the lead back for the Lady Tamaraws, 64-63 in the final two minutes before Castro split his charities with 28.2 seconds to make it a two-point game.
Kat Araja still had a chance to knot the game for the Lady Falcons, but her floater went a little too strong before Mamaril put on the finishing touches in the FEU win.
FEU continued to exert its mastery of Adamson as the Morayta crew previously won both of their elimination meetings.
"Sabi ko nga sa kanila, 'Di naman siguro sa buhay natin na matatalo nila tayo ng tatlong sunod.' Wala naman nag-iba sa kalaban namin eh," he said.
Jamie Alcoy paced Adamson with 25 points, seven rebounds, and two assists, while Prado got 20 points and 13 rebounds in the defeat.
Adamson now settles for the three-seed in the stepladder semifinals and will meet four-seed UST in a knockout game on Sunday.
FEU 67 - Castro 25, Mamaril 14, Bahuyan 10, Quiapo 7, Antiola 6, Bastatas 3, Taguiam 2, Vidal 0, Payadon 0, Dugay 0, Abat 0.
Adamson 63 - Alcoy 25, Prado 20, Camacho 7, Cacho 5, Araja 4, Razalo 2, Bilbao 0, Rosario 0, Osano 0.
Quarterscores: 15-17; 34-36; 54-50; 67-63.