One hundred and eight times before, competitors had tried and failed—some failed miserably.
It took another five minutes on Wednesday, but La Salle finally got it right.
The Lady Archers lost to National U’s (NU) untouchable Lady Bulldogs their first loss in nine seasons—and after a record 108 games—through a dramatic 61-57 victory in the women’s basketball tournament. UAAP Season 85 at the University of Santo Tomas’ (UST) Four hundred years pavilion.
“You need the perfect players, the perfect rotation to beat the perfect team,” said La Salle coach Cholo Villanueva. “My girls just want it more. They get all the credit today.
“This is the first time they sang the second old school song [in a game against NU] after so many years,” Villanueva added, referring to the UAAP tradition of the winning team singing the school hymn after the losing team sang theirs, which Lady Bulldogs has been doing since 2014. “It was a Great achievement for La Salle. And of course, a huge achievement for our women’s basketball program … stopping that record.
“[B]ut we want one more achievement. We want to win the championship.”
Fina Tchuido brought a historic victory for Lady Archers with 14 points and 19 rebounds after 42 minutes of play.
“[M]With my mindset for the past quarter, I just want to win the game,” Tchuido said.
With 10.5 seconds remaining in injury time, La Salle held the advantage 49-46 after Lee Sario’s split free throws but Mikka Cacho saved the treble after a failed play to extend it further. five minutes into the Lady Bulldogs’ one-of-a-kind winning streak.
But Lady Archers never wavered in injury time as Sario sank a treble followed by two free throws from Charmine Torres to make it 57-52.
Eighty-three seconds later, the whistle blew, beginning a scene that looked like it was dug out of UAAP lore: La Salle was also the last team to beat NU, 69-61, on October 5, 2013, in Game 3 of the season 76 finale.
From 2014 on, the Lady Bulldogs had never lost a game until they faced Lady Archers, who scrapped the Final Four format that had plagued the women’s team after being shelved for nine seasons.
La Salle’s Green Archers themselves aren’t all that bad at keeping Finals hopes up for the men’s team.
La Salle coach Derrick Pumaren said: “We’ve talked and agreed that the last five games will be the start of our season,” La Salle coach Derrick Pumaren said after His teams made up a 63-58 victory over NU Bulldogs.
“For us, this is only the third game of the season. We do not think [that] 3-6 [record] more,” added Pumaren, referring to his team’s first nine games.
Winston returns, briefly
Penny Estacio stepped out of the shadows, scoring all of his 13 points — and even overtaking the entire NU team — in the crucial third quarter that La Salle took control of.
“We need this win because we are aiming to reach the Finals. I don’t force it, my shots just come in,” said Estacio, who started playing for La Salle for the first time and bravely filled the shoes of Schonny Winston, the high scorer, who was continuing. Continue to raise a strained calf, said.
Winston finally settled in after sitting out the previous four games, but he only got to the floor for four seconds and was immediately sent back to the bench.
The sixth win in 12 opening matches keeps La Salle in 4th place.
The defending champion University of the Philippines remains at the top of the table after taking their 11th win after knocking out the UST Tigers 78-60, to secure at least one playoff spot for double-hit leverage. defeated in the Finals.
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