Tigbauanon Tacatac’s scoring spree helps UST force a do-or-die game on DLSU    

Ana Mae Tacatac’s steady scoring lifts UST against DLSU (tiebreakertimes.com)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Ilongga basketball superstar Ana Mae Tacatac continued her consistent scoring output and helped the University of Santo Tomas (UST) force a do-or-die deciding game against the De La Salle University (DLSU), 68-57, during the UAAP Season 85 women’s basketball Final Four playoffs last November 30, 2022.

The pride of Tigbauan, Iloilo waxed hot for the Tigresses and contributed 17 big points in a pressure-packed win-or-go-home game against DLSU.

DLSU had a twice-to-beat advantage heading into their Final Four matchup against the Tigresses and were oozing with confidence after becoming the first team to beat the National University (NU) this season.

However, the Tigresses kicked off the duel with their scorching hot offensive display led by Tacatac who fired a three-pointer from the right corner and cashed in a left elbow jump shot that dictated the tempo for UST.

The Tigresses then didn’t look back and continued to pour in the offense as superstar Eka Soriano gained her rhythm in the second quarter and helped UST balloon their lead to double digits.

Soriano top-scored for UST with 23 points and also stuffed the stat sheets after tallying 11 rebounds, five assists, and two steals.

It was Soriano’s personal scoring run that built a 38-23 lead at the half after going unconscious in the last two minutes of the second frame.

UST doubled its intensity in the second half and ballooned its biggest lead to 16 points, 47-31, during the 2:55 mark of the third quarter.

The Lady Archers attempted to mount a late scoring run with five minutes left in the final canto but Tacatac and the rest of the Tigresses sealed the deal and protected their double-digit lead.

“We pulled through in this knockout game. It’s a twice to beat for La Salle. Of course we have to work harder now that La Salle is going back for the last ride to be in the finals,” said UST head coach Haydee Ong.

The Tigresses will have the chance to complete the upset when they square off again on December 7 at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.