PASIG CITY – De La Salle University-Dasmarinas completed its ascent from worst to first as the Lady Patriots annexed the 25th Sta. Lucia Land National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) Women’s Division championship over a very tough Emilio Aguinaldo College-Cavite, 71-63, Friday the 13th at the Saint Joseph Gym of Pasig Catholic College. The wards of Coach Tito Reyes swept all their six games, a far cry from the team that finished fifth and dead last a season ago.
It was total domination for the Lady Patriots save for a hiccup in the second period that saw the Lady Vanguard seize control on five straight points from Jade Valenzuela, 25-24. DLSU-D responded with playmaker Diane Reyes, who would later be named as tournament Most Valuable Player, teaming up with fellow Mythical Five member Mariel Campasa to restore order by halftime, 37-32.
Suddenly, the Lady Patriots’ surge hit a snag as Campasa rolled her ankle in the opening minutes of the third canto and never returned. That was the cue for Reyes to step up further and got great support from Agatha Martha Azarcon and Claudine Fiel in breaking down the Lady Vanguard further.
Reyes then capped her game-long brilliance with a dagger triple at the one-minute mark to give the Lady Patriots an unassailable 67-57 advantage. Still, the Lady Vanguard refused to fold with Valenzuela hitting a pair of triples but it proved a bit too late as Azarcon and Reyes iced the championship from the free throw line.
Reyes finished with a grand total of 22 points. Azarcon added 19 from the center position as she battled the EAC bigs who stood almost a head taller than her while Fiel chipped in 12 mostly through fastbreak layups on precise outlet passes from Reyes.
Valenzuela led all scorers with 28 points. Justine Palomillo came off the bench to add 12 followed by Miel Loremia with 11 but it was not enough as the Lady Vanguard finished in Second Place for the second year in a row.
Joining Reyes and Campasa in the Mythical Team were Valenzuela and her teammate Rosanelle Ranoco and Philippine Merchant Marine School’s Ciara Castillo. Awarding the trophies were NCRAA President Patrick Nolasco of PMMS, Coach Luis Monfort of Saint Francis of Assisi College and General Manager Manuel “Buddy” Encarnado who announced that the league’s best female ballers will be tapped for a 3X3 tournament in Malaysia this coming July.
Earlier, PMMS salvaged Third Place over University of Makati, 83-58. Elsie Bolo paced the Lady Mariners with 21 points followed by Emily Dumago with 17.
How They Scored:
DLSU-DASMARINAS (71) – Reyes 22, Azarcon 19, Fiel 12, Cuyom 8, Campasa 8, Visitacion 2, Perlado 0, Famoso 0.
EAC-CAVITE (63) – Valenzuela 28, Palomillo 12, Loremia 11, Ranoco 5, Coronado 3, Orina 2, Brobio 2, Gabriana 0.
Period Scores: 19-10, 37-32, 56-48, 71-63.
For Third Place
PMMS (83) – Bolo 21, Dumago 17, Castillo 11, de la Cuesta 11, Suela 7, Malig-on 6, Herance 6, Abarra 2, Ogbac 2, Ilano 0, Munar 0, Escol 0.
MAKATI (58) – A Sarmenta 17, Espiritu 15, Pineda 11, Tadeo 6, Veras 4, Aceret 2, Pezcoso 2, Bande 1, de la Fuente 0, Penaflor 0, Marquez 0, Yumul 0.
Period Scores: 20-10, 38-16, 61-34, 83-58.