The Lady Archers look to avoid the same fate they suffered in UAAP Season 77 as they are exactly in the same spot as they were last year after finishing the elimination rounds in second place giving them a twice-to-beat advantage in the Stepladder Semis.
Although FEU is the team, which gave La Salle most of their heartbreaks in the women’s division in recent years, there is no denying that an Ateneo-La Salle matchup in the Semis is still a rivalry series to look forward to.
In their previous two meetings this Season, DLSU swept Ateneo two games to none. Both games however, were tightly contested.
In their first meeting, the Lady Archers barely escaped the Lady Eagles, winning by only one point after leading by a sizable margin almost the entire game. Luckily, Ateneo committed crucial turnovers and failed to hit their shots down the stretch to give La Salle a 44-43 victory despite losing their huge lead in the fourth quarter.
Round two was a different story as both teams kept the game close with Ateneo leading most of the way. La Salle mounted a comeback in the second half to bag a slim 63-58 win thanks to Ara Abaca’s 10 points in the final period.
Both games saw Ateneo stalwart Danica Jose lead her team with numbers well above her average. Jose had 14 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks in their first round meeting and performed even better in their next game scoring 23 big points while grabbing 17 boards for Ateneo. Indeed, one of the main keys to beating Ateneo is to limit Danica Jose.
Two of the most formidable bigs in this UAAP season, La Salle’s Ara Abaca and Ateneo’s Danica Jose look to lead theirs teams to the Finals. Both Abaca and Jose are part of this Season’s Mythical Five.
“We have one mindset right now which is to beat Ateneo. They’re a strong team and they’re going to go all out plus they have momentum coming in to the semis, so we have to keep our composure and play with a higher intensity both on offense and defense” says Team Captain Alyanna Ong. “We just have to keep doing what we’re doing, just better and more fluid with a higher intensity”.
“Right now we are doing the usual scouting and physical preparations but I think that we also need mental and emotional preparations especially right now in the semi finals,” adds Alyanna. “Coach Cholo keeps reminding us to remember what we felt last year, and that we don’t want to feel the same hurt again.”
Get it done
The clash between rivals La Salle and Ateneo will happen on Wednesday, 10 am at the Mall of Asia Arena. A win by the Lady Archers will give them the last ticket to the Finals to face the sill unbeaten National University Lady Bulldogs.
Note: Camille Claro, who suffered an ankle sprain in their last game against the Lady Bulldogs, although not 100%, will be available to play tomorrow.