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Lady Tams squander Lady Archers' twice-to-beat edge to enter UAAP finals

FEU's Jacq Tanaman tries to fake against La Salle's Trisha Piatos. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

The FEU Lady Tamaraws completed the trampling of the De La Salle Lady Archers' twice-to-beat advantage in the UAAP women's basketball stepladder semifinals with an 81-80 win at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The third-seeded Lady Tamaraws needed to come back from 11 points down to stun the second-seeded Lady Archers, who also lost a double-digit lead in their first meeting.

La Salle led, 43-32, with 6:17 left in the third period and by four, 71-67, with 1:01 remaining in the fourth.

But Claire Castro scored on a putback after an April Siat miss to cut the lead to two with 43 seconds remaining in regulation.

Camille Claro then missed a three-pointer at the other end, giving FEU one last crack to at least force overtime.

Siat missed another shot, but she grabbed the offensive rebound and put the ball back in to tie the game, 71-all, with nine seconds remaining in regulation.

Miller Ong missed a potential game-winner for the Lady Archers as the game went to overtime.

Alyanna Ong opened the extra period with a three-pointer to give La Salle the upper hand, 74-71, with 4:02 left.

Siat put FEU on the board with a field goal to come to within one with 3:08 remaining.

Jacq Tanaman missed two free throws in the next Lady Tamaraws offensive.

But Castro got the ball and shot the follow-up to give them the lead, 75-74, with 2:08 to go.

Alyanna Ong fired a triple at the other end to give the Lady Archers the lead again, 77-75, with 1:37 left.

But Tanaman scored in the next play, and the game was tied, 77-all, with 1:18 on the clock.

Claro gave La Salle the advantage anew, 79-77, with 45 seconds left in the game.

But Siat quickly answered with a two-pointer of her own to tie the game, 79-all, with 39 seconds remaining.

Ana Valenzona fouled Trisha Piatos in the next play.

Piatos, however, split her charities, and La Salle was only ahead by one, 80-79, with 29 seconds to go.

Siat converted the game-winning shot for FEU with nine seconds remaining in the game.

Claro misfired a triple as the final buzzer sounded as FEU escaped with the win that catapulted the team to the Finals beginning Wednesday.

Siat had 24 points, 12 rebounds, two steals, and a block for the Lady Tamaraws, while Tanaman and Castro each added 16 points.

Piatos and Claro each scored 18 markers to lead the Lady Archers, who relinquished the title they won last year.

FEU will face NU in the UAAP women's basketball finals.

The Lady Bulldogs own a thrice-to-beat advantage, equivalent to a 1-0 lead in a best-of-five series, as a bonus for sweeping the elimination round.

Box Scores:

FEU 81-Siat 24, Tanaman 16, Castro 16, Valenzona 11, Arellano 6, Ventura 4, Chan 2, Baldonado 2, Gabriel 0

La Salle 80-Piatos 18, Claro 18, A. Ong 15, Santos 10, M. Ong 8, Melendres 6, Garcia 2, Vergara 2, Concuera 1, Oyao 0, Castillo 0

Quarterscores: 14-15, 30-36, 44-50, 71-71, 81-80 
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