Lady Archers finishes basketball’s longest lasting run with a stunner over Lady Bulldogs
One hundred and eight times before, opponents have tried and failed, some miserably.
It took an extra five minutes on Wednesday, but La Salle finally pulled it off.
The Lady Archers handed the previously untouchable Lady Bulldogs of National U (NU) their first defeat in nine seasons – and after a record 108 games – via a thrilling 61-57 victory in the Women’s Basketball Tournament in the 85 season of the UAAP at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Quadricentenary Pavilion.
“You need the perfect players, the perfect rotation to beat a perfect team,” said La Salle coach Cholo Villanueva. “My girls just wanted more. They get all the credit today.
“It’s the first time they sang their alma mater song in second [in a game against NU] after how many years,” added Villanueva, referring to the UAAP tradition of the winning team singing their school anthem after the losing team sang theirs, something the Lady Bulldogs had been doing since 2014. “C t is a great achievement for La Salle. And of course, a big achievement for our women’s basketball program…stopping that streak.
“[B]But we want one more achievement. We want to win the championship.
Fina Tchuido powered the historic victory for the Lady Archers with 14 points and 19 rebounds in 42 minutes of play.
“[M]In my mindset in the last quarter, I just wanted to win the game,” Tchuido said.
With 10.5 seconds remaining in the payment period, La Salle held a 49-46 advantage after Lee Sario’s split free throws, but Mikka Cacho recovered a triple on a broken play to add five more minutes to the streak. of incomparable victories of the Lady Bulldogs.
But the Lady Archers never wavered in overtime as Sario sank a triple followed by two free throws from Charmine Torres for a 57-52 break.
Eighty-three seconds later, the buzzer erupted, initiating a scene that seemed to have been carved into UAAP lore: La Salle were also the last team to beat NU, 69-61, on October 5, 2013, in the Game 3 of the 76 season finale.
From 2014, the Lady Bulldogs never lost a match until they met the Lady Archers, who dusted off a Final Four format that had gathered cobwebs in the women’s after being put off. side for nine seasons.
La Salle’s Green Archers weren’t so bad themselves, keeping their own Final Four hopes alive on the men’s side.
“We discussed and agreed that the last five games would mark the start of our season,” La Salle coach Derrick Pumaren said after his wards secured a 63-58 victory over the NU Bulldogs.
“For us, it’s only our third game of the season. We’re not thinking about [that] 3-6 [record] more,” Pumaren added, referring to his side’s first nine games.
Winston back, briefly
Penny Estacio emerged from the shadows, shooting all of her 13 points – and even outscoring the entire NU team – in the deciding third quarter where La Salle took control.
“We needed this victory because we are aiming for the Final Four. I didn’t force it, my shots just went in,” said Estacio, who started for La Salle for the first time and gallantly filled the shoes of Schonny Winston, who continues to nurse a tight calf.
Winston finally adapted after being out the last four games, but he stepped on the floor for just four seconds and was immediately dropped to the bench.
La Salle’s sixth victory in 12 outings kept him at No.4.
Defending champions University of the Philippines still sit in first place after picking up an 11th win after beating the UST Tigers, 78-60, to secure at least a playoff for two-time leverage in the Final Four.
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