After all the hardwork done in those rigorous training regimens and countless scrimmage sessions, it all boils down on the one who holds the precious and most coveted championship trophy at the end of the season.
Playing their hearts out and with their emotions running high, the DLSU Lady Archers successfully shredded the NU Lady Bulldogs yesterday in their title-clinching 69-61 win at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“It feels really great. I cannot really explain it right now. It has yet to sync in to me actually but more than anything, I’m happier for my players because I knew the work they put in and the sacrifice they put in,” said DLSU Head Coach Tyrone Bautista after the game.
Ara Abaca led La Salle with 16 points and 13 rebounds while Finals MVP Trisha Piatos added 15 markers and 7 boards. In addition, Inna Corcuera tallied in 10 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.
“This might sound cliché but this girl [Piatos] is a hard worker,” said Bautista when asked about Piatos Finals MVP feat.
For National U, Risa Paig top scored with 21 points while Afril Bernardino added 16 markers.
After a mere exchange of buckets in the first half, La Salle finally turned things around midway through the third quarter.
Nursing a 34-33 lead, the Lady Archers suddenly waxed hot down the stretch as Ara Abaca’s jumper ignited 19-7 run giving the team a 53-40 lead entering into the final canto.
The Lady Archers looked to finish NU for good in the final quarter but the Lady Bulldogs had one last hurrah.
After a Piatos triple swelled the lead to 62-45, NU scored 14 unanswered points which trimmed the La Salle lead to 64-60. But La Salle iced the game for good as Abaca and Camille Claro sank timely hits in crunch time en route to the title.
“After winning the championship, I’m really happier for my players. They really worked for it,” Bautista happily ended.
DLSU (69) – Abaca 16, Piatos 15, Corcuera 10, A. Ong 8, Santos 5, Claro 5, Melendres 4, Ramos 2, Garcia 2.
NU (61) – Paig 21, Bernardino 16, Abriam 7, Tongco 6, Gupilan 6, Bonleon 4, Escoto 1, Sison 0, Seno 0, Antiquiera 0.
Quarter scores: 15-13, 30-29, 53-40, 69-61.