QUEZON CITY - The University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tigresses secured a significant victory over Ateneo de Manila, with a final score of 80-68, during the UAAP Season 86 women's basketball tournament held at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday. This win solidified their position in the upcoming Final Four.
According to Philippines News Agency, the Tigresses' triumph marks their fourth consecutive win, concluding the elimination round with an impressive 11-3 record. Their secured second place and the consequential twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals was further ensured by National University's 81-51 victory over the University of the Philippines in a concurrent game.
Gypsy Canuto led the league-leading Lady Bulldogs (13-1) with 16 points and six rebounds. National University is now set to face the fourth-ranked Ateneo Lady Eagles in the semifinals.
UST's performance was spearheaded by Angelina Villasin, who achieved a career-high 20 points, including four three-pointers. Villasin, a graduating master's student from North Park University in Chicago, reflected on the game as a positive experience, attributing the team's success to consistent practice and adherence to their coach's system.
Eka Soriano also made significant contributions to the Tigresses' victory with 14 points, 11 assists, four rebounds, and three steals. Her efforts helped UST extend their lead from a 39-33 halftime advantage to a commanding 62-43 lead by the end of the third quarter.
Additional contributions came from Jane Pastrana, who delivered 12 points, seven rebounds, six steals, and three assists, and Brigette Santos, who added 10 points to the team's tally.
UST coach Haydee Ong expressed her focus on preparing the team for their next match against the University of the Philippines. "We'll go back to the drawing board," she stated, indicating a strategic approach to their upcoming game.
Season 85 Rookie of the Year Kacey dela Rosa stood out for Ateneo with a notable performance of 21 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks, three assists, and a steal. Ateneo finishes the regular season with an 8-6 record.