by Anton Onato
Antonia Wong lived up to her team’s Fighting Maroons monicker but her monstrous display was not enough to carry University of the Philippines past the Lady Tamaraws.
Wong lead the charge as UP clawed back from 15 points down but they still fell short of upsetting defending champions Far Eastern University, 54-48, in the second round of the UAAP women’s basketball tournament Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
UP outscored FEU, 17-8, on Wong’s exploits in the pay-off period but the Lady Tams managed to knock down much needed baskets to weather the Maroon run. Wong exploded for 26 points, 16 rebounds, a steal and a block.
“She’s a type of player na gusto talagang bumawi kasi natalo kami ng FEU nung first round and she’s leading her teammates by example,” UP Head Coach Ramon Garcia said of his reliable forward.
With the win, FEU remains on top with a 10-1 standing while UP remained fifth with a 5-6 slate.
FEU started hot as point guard Jack Tanaman and forward Marites Albano scored back-to-back treys, 12-3.
UP rallied back and sparked a couple of mini-runs but FEU proved to be relentless as they continued the onslaught posting a 46-31 spread at the end of the third frame.
Down by a double digit deficit, the Maroons rallied against the pesky defense of the Tams and mounted a 12-0 run behind the hot hands of Wong.
But FEU kept their composure at endgame to escape with the win.
Camille Sambile played heroine for the Tams, finishing with 18 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, seven steals and three blocks.
The Maroons will next face the Adamson University Lady Falcons on Wednesday, September 4, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
UP 48- Wong 26, Salapong 7, Furagganan 6, Daez 4, Luna 2, Aliermo 2, Tatel 1
FEU 54- Sambile 18, Tanaman 11, Siat 7, Albano 5, Gesalan 4, Gabriel 4, Lozano 2, Chan 2, Arellado 1
Quarter Scores: 16-6, 24-15, 46-31, 54-48