SAINT Louis University Lady Navigators came scoring more points when it mattered the most to pull off an upset against University of the Cordilleras Lady Jaguars to snatch the championship in women’s basketball of the 27th season of the Baguio – Benguet Educational Athletic League.
The Navigators successfully won a tough earned victory against the Jaguars, 72-68, in a go hard or go home game three to close out the series at the SLU Prince Bernhard gym on Wednesday after both sides split the first two ballgames.
Team captain Catherine Camilo scored 16 points, nine rebounds, five steals, and five assists leading her team into the championship.
“Naging motivation namin na mas gusto namin makuha ‘yung championship, inilaban lang namin ‘yung puso for the game para maagaw sa kanila ‘yung title,” said an overjoyed Camilo.
Navigators head coach Raymund Austria said he is proud to gain his first championship in coaching college basketball.
“Masaya ako dahil maganda ang ipinakita ng mga bata, lalung-lalo na nung mga seniors namin,” said Austria.
“Noong first half madami kaming passing errors, after that I told my players to adjust so ‘yun siguro ang naging malaking factor bakit kami nanalo,”Austria added.
The Lady Navigators took advantage of their homecourt stopping the Jaguars from collecting boards and close the first quarter with a 12-10 lead.
But UC never backed down early as Jessica Mae Pingil and Cheryl Magno carved a 17 point outburst steal the lead, 27-31 at halftime.
The Lady Jaguars continued their scoring run in the third canto to pad their lead at 37 – 45 with 5:05 remaining as Pingil added another six fastbreak points.
Trisha Costales, Cristine Pilig and Ana May Tamondong then teamed up for Lady Navigators in coming up with 12 – 4 run and tie the ball game at 49 all at the close of the third canto.
A see-saw battle enraged in the first five minutes in the pay off period before SLU slowly pulled away capped by Pilig’s fastbreak to enjoy a 61-56 lead with 1:20 remaining reclaim the ladies crown they last held in 2011.
Jaguars head coach Alvin Santos said the errors practically spelled the big difference in the ball game.
“Siguro nasobrahan lang ng mga errors sa later part ng laro, mas naging motivated to win lang ‘yung mga kalaban kaysa sa amin,” said Santos.
Pingil recorded 21 points, five steals, three rebounds, and two assists, while Magno scored 20 points, seven steals, five rebounds, and two assists.