MAKATI CITY – Mary Grace Calang hit a triple with 1.5 seconds remaining to lift Enderun Colleges over top seed Rizal Technological University, 77-74, in Game One of the 16th National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and University (NAASCU) Women’s Division championship series Tuesday (October 11) at the Makati Coliseum. More importantly, the win puts the Lady Titans of Coach Haydee Ong in good position for a title in their maiden season.
Earlier, Angelica Jaberto tied the game with a corner triple at the seven-second mark, 77-77. The Lady Titans prematurely celebrated as they mobbed Calang in front of the scorer’s table, allowing the Lady Thunder to freely execute one final desperation heave that luckily missed.
The game was a far cry from their elimination round meeting last September 20 which RTU easily took, 71-52. In that game, Enderun team leader Ella Rodriguez was held scoreless in the final period but this time the recruit from California made sure it would be a different story.
With her uncle Coach Arlene Rodriguez seated on the opposite bench as RTU’s consultant, the younger Rodriguez missed two free throws off a Jaberto foul but quickly stole the ball forcing Rogelyn Inoferio to give up the foul with 15 seconds to go. She promptly made both free throws for a 74-71 count in preparation for the mad ending.
Rodriguez scored seven of her team-high 20 points in the fourth period on top of 17 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks. Game heroine Calang was next with 18 and six rebounds while Princess Abigail Manzanares had a double-double of 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Wiz Duazo paced the Lady Thunder with 19 and four steals but many-time NAASCU Mythical Five member’s presence was greatly missed at crunch time after fouling out with still 3:37 left in the game. Jeremiah Yonzon followed with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
The Lady Titans can take home the trophy with a victory in Game Two set for Thursday (October 13). Tipoff is at 2:00 PM, still at the Makati Coliseum.
How They Scored:
ENDERUN (77) – Rodriguez 20, Calang 18, Manzanares 12, Callangan 8, Pangilinan 6, Marcos 5, Liao 5, Gonzalez 3, Tan 0, Pumaren 0.
RIZAL TECHNOLOGICAL (74) – Duazo 19, Yonzon 18, Inoferio 13, Jaberto 12, V Mantos 5, Mier 3, Canales 2, Dionisio 2, Orillana 0, N Mantos 0, Ybanez 0, Pocallan 0, Castillano 0, Santos 0, Ayhon 0.
Period Scores: 20-18, 33-30, 53-52, 77-74.