Adamson University clinched the last Final Four slot at the expense of University of Santo Tomas (UST), 58-73, in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 79 women’s basketball playoffs at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Wednesday.
The Lady Falcons broke away from the four-all deadlock after igniting a 6-0 run with 5:46 minutes remaining in the opening frame, 10-4.
Adamson sustained the momentum, completing a 13-0 blitz from the efforts of Kaye Pingol, Nathalia Prado, Kathleen Araja, Jamie Alcoy, Jonalyn Lacson, April Cabug, and Jo Razalo, 23-6.
Jhenn Angeles drained a mid-range jumper in the last seconds of the quarter, 23-8.
The Tigresses cut the lead to seven with Shanda Anies hitting another mid-range jumper, Misaela Larosa driving to the basket, and Clarice Aujero and Larosa hitting back-to-back layups with 7:30 minutes remaining in the first half, 23-16.
Araja broke the dry spell for Adamson after draining a trey in the 6:46 minute mark, 26-16.
Lady Falcon April Cabug closed the first half as she sank both her free throws with Elondra Rivera drawing the fifth team foul for UST, 37-22.
Stretching their advantage to 26, Pingol, Prado, and Lacson made another 6-0 run, 56-30.
The Tigresses cut Adamson’s lead to 10 as Angeles drained a corner three-pointer with 1:41 minutes left in the match.
But the Lady Falcons did not look back as they put an end to UST’s final four hope, 73-58.
“Hunger to win, they want to prove something that they belong in the Final Four. The last time they went in the Final Four just, it was because of forfeiture of FEU games so they got in. But this time—this is legit that we won and we’re going to the Final Four,” said Adamson head coach Mike Fermin.
Pingol top scored Adamson with 17 points, while Prado recorded a double-double outing of 15 markers and 10 boards. Lacson and Alcoy combined for 23 points and 11 rebounds.
Anies paced UST with 14 markers, while Bettina Peñaflor added 10 more points.
The Lady Falcons will face third seed University of the East in the stepladder semifinals on Saturday at the same venue.