LA SALLE advanced to the UAAP Season 85 women’s basketball finals after beating UST, 74-69, in the Final Four on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
After the Growling Tigresses tied things up at 69-all with 47.0 seconds left, the Lady Archers scored five straight points capped by Charmaine Torres’ insurance free throws with 3.2 seconds left.
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Betina Binaohan led the charge with 17 points and 10 rebounds, including the go-ahead charities with 31.2 remaining, as DLSU advanced to face seven-time defending champion National University in the finals starting on Wednesday, 11 a.m., at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
It will be recalled that La Salle ended the Lady Bulldogs’ 108-game win streak last October and was the last to defeat NU in the championship series, 2-1, in 2013.
"I'd like to give credit to UST, they played one hell of a series against us, but we were the better team this time around," La Salle coach Cholo Villanueva said.
"We made the proper adjustments on what they were doing in their previous games," he said, referring to the Lady Archers' 68-57 loss to the same team last Nov. 30.
Agatha Bron paced UST with 13 points while presumptive UAAP MVP Eka Soriano had 10 points and nine rebounds but turned the ball over six times.
La Salle was in control for most of the second half, going on an 11-2 run that gave it a 41-34 advantage to open the third quarter.
Binaohan gave her side its biggest lead of the game at 61-52 after a line-drive triple with 7:30 left, before the Tigresses slowly chipped away at the deficit.
La Salle (74) - Niantcho 18, Binaohan 17, Torres 16, Sario 12, Jimenez 5, Dalisay 3, Arciga 2, De La Paz 1, Camba 0, Ahmed 0, Espinas 0.
UST (69) - Bron 13, Soriano 10, Dionisio 9, Villasin 8, Tacatac 8, Pangilinan 8, Ambos 8, Serrano 3, Santos 2.
Quarters: 21-18, 38-34, 57-50, 74-69