Ateneo completes women's basketball semis sweep of La Salle, faces NU in finals

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Ateneo's Cinderella story in UAAP women's basketball play neared its climax as it downed La Salle, 62-50, in the knockout semifinal game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday.

The Lady Eagles closed out the game on an 11-2 run in the last 3:30 to complete the necessary sweep of the Lady Archers, who had a twice-to-beat advantage entering the series, and take the other slot in the finals.

Hazelle Yam led Ateneo, which needed to beat UST in a playoff to enter the stepladder playoffs proper, with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting with two rebounds and three assists. Danica Jose added a double-double of 11 markers and 11 boards along with four dimes.

Camille Claro paced La Salle's offense with 13 points but was held to a 6-of-19 field goal clip, missing all of her eight triples.

Overall, the Lady Eagles limited the Lady Archers to 33.3 percent shooting while making 51 percent of their shots and outassisted them, 15-6.

Ateneo is now 4-0 in the "extended" stepladder playoffs and will next take on NU in its first finals stint since Cassy Tioseco led the team to the 2007 edition beginning Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Lady Bulldogs, who once again swept the elimination round, will hold a thrice-to-beat advantage, equivalent to a 1-0 lead in a best-of-five series, in the championship round.

Box Scores:

Ateneo 62-Yam 15, Go 13, Jose 11, Tomita 9, Guytingco 7, Buendia 5, Javier 2, Aseron 0, Deacon 0, Nitorreda 0, Newsome 0

La Salle 50-Claro 13, Abaca 12, Vergara 8, Revillosa 4, Castillo 3, Ong 3, Penaranda 3, Roxas 2, Dagdagan 2, Vela 0

Quarterscores: 15-12, 26-24, 38-38, 62-50

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