QUEZON CITY – Rizal Technological University received a tough challenge from Emilio Aguinaldo College-Cavite but still had enough strength left for when it mattered the most as they bagged Game One of the best-of-three championship series of the National Capital Region Universities and Colleges of Luzon Athletic Association (NCRUCLAA) Women’s Basketball tournament at the Colegio de San Lorenzo Gym Thursday (March 23). Final score was 80-74.
The Lady Thunder started strong and took the first period, 22-12, behind starters Ira Canales, Vanessa Mantos and Jeremiah Yonzon and substitute Bianca Castillano. However, Coach Julian Bagares III allowed his second stringers to play most of the second period and the ploy backfired as the Lady Vanguard of Coach Ma. Theresa Magno suddenly found themselves on top by the halftime break, 37-34, with Jel Ponce, Rosanelle Ranoco and Jeremae Almanzor at the firing end.
Coach Bagares then returned his starters by the third period and RTU slowly turned the game into a rout. A late run anchored on Ponce and Charmaine Lanto trimmed the final deficit.
All 15 Lady Thunder fielded scored with Canales leading the way with 12. Sisters Vanessa and Nova Mantos also hit twin digits with 11 and 10 respectively.
RTU survived the 33-point explosion of Ponce, capped with 15 coming in the fourth period. Lanto was next with nine points, all coming via the three-point line in the fourth period.
Game Two is scheduled for next Tuesday (March 28), still at CDSL. In the preliminary game, the University of Makati Lady Herons and Philippine Merchant Marine School Lady Mariners will meet in their one-game playoff to decide who takes home Third Place.
How They Scored:
RIZAL TECH (80) – Canales 12, V. Mantos 11, N. Mantos 10, Castillano 9, Mier 7, Yonzon 6, Enage 5, Ayhon 5, Dionisio 4, Orillana 2, Ybanez 2, Dayupay 2, Tagudin 2, Faraon 2, Halawig 1.
EAC-CAVITE (74) – Ponce 33, Lanto 9, Ranoco 7, Palomillo 7, Almanzor 6, Orina 6, Coronado 2, Raya 2, Gabriana 2, Pagsanjan 0, Perez 0.
Period Scores: 22-12, 34-37, 59-46, 80-74.