MANILA, Philippines – The De La Salle Lady Archers used a balanced effort to pull away from the Adamson Lady Falcons, 81-73, and earn a Finals berth in the UAAP Season 75 women’s basketball tournament Wednesday at the San Juan Arena.
Five players scored in double figures for La Salle, with Aracelie Abaca nearly registering a triple double after finishing with 20 points, 18 rebounds and eight assists.
Trisha Piatos (17 points), Kady Wilson (16 points), Hannah Viterbo (13 points) and Cassandra Ong (10 points) also finished in double-digits for the Lady Archers, who had a twice-to-beat advantage against Adamson.
The Lady Falcons, who lost in the Finals last season, were led by Snow Penaranda’s 28 points and 10 rebounds.
La Salle took control in the third period, leading by as much as 15 points, but the Lady Falcons rallied in the final quarter.
Adamson came as close as six points, 71-77, off a twinner by Penaranda with a little over a minute to go. But Abaca sealed the victory for La Salle when she scored her final two points of the game with 52 seconds left.
“They’re (Adamson) a very tough and resilient team,” DLSU head coach Tyrone Bautista told UAAPsports.tv. “They’re a team that just won’t give up no matter how much they’re down.”
“We knew that they would be playing like they’re fighting for their lives. I give them credit, but my girls just really wanted us to get back to the Finals,” he added.
The Lady Archers last won the UAAP title in 2002.
In the Season 75 Finals, they will face the defending champions Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tams, who hold a thrice-to-beat advantage after sweeping the elimination round.
“We’re going to cherish this win but we still have a big task at hand. We have to get ready because we’re going to face FEU,” Bautista said.
The Lady Archers made 44% of their shots, including 32% of the three-point attempts. Adamson, meanwhile, made only one of the 16 three-pointers they took.
The Lady Falcons did not help their cause as they missed 13 of their 27 free throw attempts.