The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Archers will battle top seed National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 92 women’s basketball finals at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City today.
La Salle closed the elimination round with an 11-3 win-loss record, while NU secured an outright finals berth after sweeping the elimination round 14-0.
“They’re the champion team so we have a lot to learn from them. For me, it’s the first time I’m playing in the finals so we’ll prepare – be ready. But for us, it’s everything to gain, everything to learn from them,” said La Salle head coach Cholo Villlanueva.
The Lady Archers trounced third seed University of the East (UE), 72-50, in the stepladder semifinals last Wednesday.
Sustaining their winning momentum until the fourth quarter, the Lady Archers completed a 7-1 run with Chay Vergara sinking both her free throws off Eunique Chan’s foul, Marga Dagdagan draining a three-pointer, and Kathy Gonzales scoring inside the paint to extend their advantage to 27, their biggest lead in the match, 72-45.La Salle limited the Lady Warriors to 19 baskets out of 73 attempts. They also took advantage of UE’s 24 turnovers to tally 27 points.
The green-and-white cagers banking on their perimeter shooting prowess posted 32 markers against UE’s 12. But the Lady Warriors dominated in the paint area, scoring 30 inside points against La Salle’s 26 points.
“It just shows us that it’s my team that wants to move the ball around. We’re not capable of making our own shots so we had 15 assists. It’s big that we moved the ball because it means that we’re sharing that basketball and making our open shots,” Villanueva said pertaining to La Salle’s perimeter shooting.
Khate Castillo top scored for La Salle with 23 markers, shooting five treys out of 13 attempts, followed by Camille Claro with 13 points. Bennette Revillosa and Vergara added 10 markers and eight boards apiece.
Love Sto. Domingo owned the lone bright spot for UE with a double-double outing of 22 points and 10 rebounds.
The Lady Bulldogs trounced the Lady Archers during their first meeting in the elimination round, 72-59, last September 18.
NU repeated their victory over La Salle in the second round, 93-77, last October 29.
“I think we’re the smallest team in the league. I think we’re number six or five in rebounding so we’re very a small team. And that’s their (NU) advantage. They have a 6’4 player, they have an import, they have 5’11 guards. So it’s the rebounding that we’re supposed to focus on so we’ll work on that,” Villanueva added.
The clash between the NU Lady Bulldogs and the La Salle Lady Archers will start at 11 a.m.