UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas forced a deciding match against twice-to-beat La Salle with a wire-to-wire 68-57 victory in the UAAP women's basketball Final Four on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Golden Tigresses went on a 12-0 run late in the second quarter for a 38-23 halftime advantage and never looked back.
See NU overpowers Ateneo to reach eighth straight UAAP women's basketball finals
MVP frontrunner Eka Soriano drilled a triple that gave UST its biggest lead of the game, 47-31, with three minutes left in the third period.
La Salle got as close as nine but UST nailed crucial baskets to keep them at bay.
"We pulled through in this knockout game. It's a twice to beat for La Salle. Of course we have to work harder now that La Salle is going back for the last ride to be in the finals," said UST head coach Haydee Ong.
"Sabi ko nga sa mga girls, the job is not yet over hanggang matapos namin ang La Salle ng dalawang beses going into the Finals," she added.
Soriano paced UST with 23 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
Charmaine Torres led the Lady Archers with 16 markers, nine boards, an assist, and four steals.
The winner of next Wednesday's match will book a ticket to the finals against seven-time defending champion National University.
UST (68) - Soriano 23, Tacatac 17, Pangilinan 11, Dionisio 7, Santos 3, Villasin 3, Serrano 3, Bron 1, Ambos 0, Araza 0.
DLSU (57) - Torres 16, Niantcho Tchuido 10, Sario 10, Binaohan 7, De La Paz 4, Arciga 4, Jimenez 2, Ahmed 2, Dalisay 2, Espinas 0.
Quarterscores: 14-12; 38-23; 53-37; 68-57.