UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas pulled University of the Philippines down from cloud nine with a harsh 72-40 reality check in the UAAP Season 82 women's basketball tournament Wednesday at UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.
Tacky Tacatac had 15 points and a season-high nine steals to lead the Golden Tigresses to their seventh straight win and clinch at least a playoff for a semifinal spot.
"Wala talagang shortcut for the program. At least yung mga naiwan for the last three years, na-adopt na yung sistema namin sa opensa at depensa," said coach Haydee Ong.
The Golden Tigresses rose to 9-2 after limiting the Lady Maroons to three single-digit quarters — eight in the first, nine in the second and seven in the third as UP shot just 28-percent from the field.
"Right now, sa stretch ng second round, siguro we are 60 to 70-percent sa goal namin," Ong added.
Leading MVP candidate Grace Irebu only played 19 minutes, finishing with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field with eight rebounds and two blocks.
Tantoy Ferrer added 10 points and nine rebounds, including the triple that gave UST its biggest lead of the game at 44 points, 72-26, with 6:46 left.
Pesky Pesquera, the hero of UP's first win in three years, finished with 14 points and nine rebounds. However, the graduating Lady Maroon was forced to commit nine errors as they dropped to 1-9.
Meanwhile, Far Eastern University arrested its two-game skid and picked apart Ateneo, 71-66.
Clare Castro towed the Lady Tamaraws back to the win column with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Jay Delos Santos provided the spark in the third quarter as FEU broke away from 38-all with a personal 9-0 spurt that made it 47-38 for the Lady Tamaraws.
"Morale-boosting sa amin yung nilaro ni Delos Santos," said coach Bert Flores. "Hirap na hirap kami makuha yung panalo nung NU at UST. Ngayon bawal na kaming matalo if gusto pa namin mag-top two."
Delos Santos had 16 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field, to go with nine rebounds.
The victory lifted the Lady Tamaraws to a 7-4 slate.
Ateneo dropped its fourth straight game to fall to a 3-8 record.
Jhaz Joson paced the Lady Eagles with 15 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals, as Melissa Newsome added 13 markers.
FEU 71 - Castro 23, Delos Santos 16, Jumuad 8, Quiapo 8, Abat 6, Mamaril 4, Antiola 3, Bahuyan 3, Pacia 0, Vidal 0.
Ateneo 66 -- Joson 15, Newsome 13, Yam 11, Payac 10, Moslares 5, Villamor 5, Cancio 4, De Dios 3, Aquisap 0, Chu 0, Guytingco 0.
Quarterscores: 18-23; 38-38; 58-49; 71-66.
UST 72 - Irebu 15, Tacatac 15, Ferrer 10, Panti 8, Rivera 8, Soriano 6, Portillo 3, Gandalla 2, Manuel 2, Sangalang 2, Callangan 1, Casiano 0, Gonzales 0, Javier 0.
UP 40 - Pesquera 14, Gusilatar 9, Ordoveza 6, Rivera 4, Gonzales 2, Larrosa 2, Lucman 2, De Leon 1, Hidalgo 0, Lebico 0, Sanchez 0, Taulava 0.
Quarterscores: 18-8; 38-17; 58-24; 72-40.