The Lady Archers ended basketball’s longest run with a stunner over the Lady Bulldogs

La Salle celebrates at the final buzzer. – PHOTOS CONTACT
of the UAAP

One hundred and eight times before, competitors have tried and failed—some miserably.

It took five extra minutes on Wednesday, but La Salle finally got it right.

The Lady Archers handed the previously untouchable Lady Bulldogs of National U (NU) their first loss in nine seasons and a record 108 games with a pulsating 61-57 win at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in the UAAP Season 85 women’s basketball tournament. ) Quadricentennial Pavilion.

“You need perfect players, perfect rotation to beat a perfect team,” La Salle coach Cholo Villanueva said. “My daughters wanted it more. They get all the credit today.”

“This is the first time that they sing alma mater songs for the second time [in a game against NU] after several years,” Villanueva added, referring to the UAAP tradition of the winning team singing the school anthem after the losing team sings their song, something the Lady Bulldogs have done since 2014. “This is a big accomplishment for La Salle. And of course, a huge accomplishment for our women’s basketball program…stopping that streak.

“[B]ut we want one more achievement. We want to win the championship.”

Fina Tchuido powered the Lady Archers’ historic win with 14 points and 19 rebounds in 42 minutes of play.

“[M]With my mentality in the last quarter, I just wanted to win the game,” Tchuido said.

A broken game

La Salle held a 49-46 lead on Lee Sario’s free throws with 10.5 seconds left, but Mikka Cacho made three saves on the broken play to add five more minutes to the Lady Bulldogs’ unprecedented streak.

The Lady Archers never wavered in overtime as Sario sank a triple with two free throws by Charmine Torres for a 57-52 breather.

Eighty-three seconds later, the buzzer broke and a scene seemingly lifted from UAAP lore began: La Salle was also the last team to beat NU in Game 3 on October 5, 2013, 69-61. Season 76 finale.

Beginning in 2014, the Lady Bulldogs went undefeated until facing the Lady Archers, who swept the cobwebbed Final Four format on the women’s side after nine seasons on the shelf.

La Salle’s Green Archers weren’t too bad, keeping their Final Four hopes alive on the men’s side.

“We talked and we agreed that the last five games will be the start of our season,” La Salle coach Derrick Pumaren said after his wards’ 63-58 victory over the NU Bulldogs.

“For us, this is our third game of the season. We don’t think [that] 3-6 [record] already,” added Pumaren, referring to his team’s first nine games.

Back to Winston for a moment

Penny Estacio came out of the shadows, scored all 13 of her points and even outscored the entire NU lineup in a crucial third quarter when La Salle took control.

“We needed this victory because we want to be in the Final Four.” I didn’t force it, my shots just went in,” Estacio, making his first start for La Salle, filled the shoes of high-scoring Schonny Winston.

Winston finally suited up after the final four games, but he stepped on the floor for just four seconds and was immediately sent back to the bench.

La Salle’s sixth win in 12 outings keeps it at No. 4.

Defending champion University of the Philippines is still on top after beating the UST Tigers 78-60 to secure at least a playoff spot to win twice in the Final Four.

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