The UST Growling Tigresses stunned the NU Lady Bulldogs, 76-72, taking Game 1 of the UAAP Season 86 women's basketball finals, Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 29, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Kent Pastrana led UST’s scoring with 15 points, six rebounds, and four steals, while Tantoy Ferrer posted a double-double of 13 points and 14 rebounds, lifting the Tigresses through a Game One victory.
The Tigresses have not won against the Lady Bulldogs since Season 75, ending what was an 11-year losing streak.
UST outscored NU in points off turnovers, 27-15, despite the Lady Bulldogs only committing four more turnovers than the Tigresses, giving the upper hand to UST for most of the way.
"Finally, mayroon kaming panalo against NU which is [the] most important because this is the championship series," said head coach Haydee Ong after the win. "They really worked hard for this until the last second na pwedeng humabol yung NU. They keep their composure."
Game One started slow but NU capitalized on Jainaba Konateh's inside presence to strike first on the scoreboard.
It didn't take long for UST to jolt NU after executing a 10-4 run along with Pastrana drilling from deep to end the first quarter, 20-12.
NU pulled within one point before halftime but Nikki Villasin’s timely baskets rattled the Bulldogs’ momentum, 36-31.
The Lady Bulldogs overtook the Tigresses midway in the third frame, 50-51, through Camille Clarin’s 13-point eruption, but the Tigresses’ poise proved unshakeable to end the quarter still on the lead, 54-51.
The Lady Bulldogs managed to close a three-point gap, holding their Tigresses to dry stretches in the waning minutes before falling short with NU's misses and UST's free-throws that sealed the win.
National team member Camille Clarin lifted NU with 18 points on four threes, while Karl Pingol had a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebound outings.
Meanwhile, three other Tigresses posted double-digit outings namely Tacky Tacatac with 14 points, Brigette Santos with 12 points and seven steals, and Nikki Villasin with 10 points on a 50 percent shooting from the field.
The Game 2 of the UAAP Season 86 Women’s basketball finals is scheduled on Sunday, Dec. 3, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.