By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Ilongga basketball superstar Ana Mae Tacatac shrugged off rust issues despite a three-year absence and led the University of Santo Tomas (UST) against the Adamson Lady Falcons, 106-70, during their opening game of the UAAP Season 85 women’s basketball tournament.
The pride of Tigbauan, Iloilo fired from all cylinders against the Lady Falcons and top-scored the Tigresses with 21 big points.
Tacatac went unconscious from the three-point area and buried five shots from downtown while also collecting five rebounds, five assists, and four steals.
It was Tacatac who spearheaded UST’s massive offensive rally in the third quarter after ending the half with a 14-point lead, 48-34.
After Tacatac drilled a wide-open three-pointer at the top of the key to kick off the third frame, the Tigresses quickly established an 18-0 scoring run to balloon their lead to 66-34.
UST’s offensive snowball made it hard for the Lady Falcons to come back into the ball game and already waved the white flag in the opening minutes of the final quarter.
“We’re very happy and excited that women’s basketball is back in Season 85. We’re happy that we got our first win but a lot of work has to be done yet. This is just the beginning,” said UST head coach Haydee Ong.
Joylyn Pangilinan backstopped Tacatac with 19 points built from 7/9 shooting from the field while Nikki Villasin contributed 15 points and six rebounds.
Meanwhile, the Lady Falcons had a rousing debut from rookie sensation Dindy Medina who dropped 29 big points but wasn’t enough to contain the blazing UST offense.
In the other scheduled game, De La Salle University demolished the University of the Philippines, 73-51.