Lady Eagles hang their hat on defense to snatch season-opening victory

THE ATENEO Lady Eagles defeated the University of the East (UE) Lady Warriors 74-65, in the opening game of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 82 on Wednesday, September 4, at the Quadricentennial Pavilion at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila. 

Jay Nimes led the game in scoring, assists, and steals with a stat line of 19 points, four assists, and three steals. Jhazmin Joson and Alyssa Villamor also had solid contributions with 15 and 14 points, respectively.

For the Lady Warriors, Tin Cortizano flirted with a double-double after amassing 19 points and nine rebounds. Her teammate, Jerzey Ganade, notched a double-double for herself after scoring 15 points and pulling down 10 boards. 

The Lady Eagles started out strong and took an 8-3 lead early in the first quarter. However, their lead would not extend beyond five points until the end of the game after several exchanged baskets and scoring runs.

Midway through the fourth quarter, UE jumped out to a 61-57 lead, only to go cold and  score four points for the rest of the game, including going scoreless in the last three minutes. Ateneo closed out the fourth quarter with an 18-4 run that was highlighted by a Boom Moslares three, giving them a lead they never relinquished.

“We played a bad first three quarters and we really expected to have done much better, but towards the end, I like that they were able to get the stops when it really mattered,” said Lady Eagles Head Coach Katrina Quimpo

Defense won the day for the Lady Eagles as they amassed an impressive 12 steals and seven blocks. Meanwhile, the Lady Warriors struggled to take care of the ball as they recorded 18 more turnovers than the Lady Eagles, largely offsetting their +16 rebounding edge.

After the game, Nimes mentioned that Ateneo’s defense was the catalyst for the team’s strong offensive performance. “Our defense gave us momentum and it made it easier for us to score,” she said. “Being aggressive on defense helped our offense.”

Quimpo also commended the team’s ball movement, which was a key cog in their offensive attack. “That’s really our style of play, that’s how we’ve been training and that’s something that we should be able to sustain and even improve on going to the next games,” Quimpo added.

The win lifts Ateneo to a 1-0 record in the UAAP Season 82 Women’s Basketball tournament, while dropping UE to a 0-1 win-loss slate. 

A rivalry showdown is next for the Lady Eagles in their next game against the De La Salle University Lady Archers on Sunday, 10:00 AM, September 8, at the Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City.

Quarter Scores:

Ateneo-UE: 18-16, 33-32, 52-53, 74-65

Box Score:

Ateneo (74): Nimes - 19, Joson - 15, Villamor - 14, Guytingco - 8, Chu - 8, Yam - 5, Moslares - 5, Villacruz - 0, Payac - 0, Newsome - 0, De Dios - 0, Cancio - 0, Aquisap - 0

UE (65): Cortizano - 18, Ganade- 15, Paule - 12, Terrinal - 7, Fernandez - 5, Ordas - 4, Nama - 2, Caraig - 2, Tinio - 0, Raymundo - 0, Pedregosa - 0, Noqiil - 0, Gervacio - 0, Gaa - 0, Cuadero - 0, Brencis - 0

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