Lady Archers snap longest winning streak in Philippine basketball

Written by: Ana Maria Isabel Lirios

Date published: November 23, 2022


Photo by: UAAP Season 85 Media Team 

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Archers triumph in overtime against the National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs, 61–57, on Wednesday, November 23 at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Quadricentennial Pavilion. They blemish NU’s 108-game winning streak, the longest to be recorded in Philippine basketball history.

“For us, we’re just a work in progress. Coming from not coming into the Final Four for the past two years, and eventually having our first achievement which is entering [the] Final Four, now we’re in the twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four, which is what we want.” Coach Cholo Villanueva, Lady Archers’ Head Coach commented on the team’s performance in the overtime thriller. “Then it’s an added bonus that we stopped a streak. It wasn’t really a goal for us, it was just one goal we wanted to win to get a twice-to-beat advantage, and it’s just part of the journey of getting the championship in this year’s UAAP.”

Fina Niantcho Tchuido led the charge for the Lady Archers, recording 14 points, 19 rebounds, and two steals. She was trailed by Charmine Torres, who scored 13 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals.

The effort was further supported by Lee Sario, who garnered 10 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals, and Bettina Binaohan, with 10 points, nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

The first quarter had the Lady Bulldogs already trailing to the Lady Archers. The Green and White drew first blood, with Tchuido, Sario, and Marga Jimenez splitting up the scoring efforts among themselves. NU, however, was clearly still in the game, with the bulk of their scoring coming from Mikka Cacho, who later finished the game as NU’s top scorer at 12 points. The opening quarter ended with a score of 14–12, DLSU.

The second canto proved to be an explosion of scoring from the Lady Archers, as they added 18 points to their tally compared to the Lady Bulldogs’ 13. Jimenez, who is often regarded as the team’s biggest playmaker, opened the quarter with an emphatic three-pointer. From then on, the Lady Bulldogs were forced to play catch up, while DLSU successfully defended against the attempts of Cacho, Angel Surada, and Camille Clarin. As a result, the Lady Archers led the Lady Bulldogs 32–25, DLSU into halftime.

The Lady Archers were inching closer than ever to victory in the third quarter, but the Lady Bulldogs were not letting up so easily. Karl Pingol put NU back into the lead at 5:36 with a score of 32–33, NU. However, crucial free throws from Niantcho Tchuido and Binaohan ensured that the team was still hungry as ever, ending the quarter with a one-point lead at 37–36, DLSU.

Emotions ran high in the last quarter in regulation. Coach Villanueva was handed a technical foul for unsportsmanlike behaviour, resulting in Clarin stepping up for a technical free throw and Lady Archers being within one point of the Lady Bulldogs at 39–40. A back and forth ensued between the teams, resulting in a score of 49–46, DLSU as time ran out. Nonetheless, in spite of the victory celebrations of the Lady Archers, the officials reviewed the match and found that a buzzer-beater three pointer made by NU was counted. It was then decided that the game would go into overtime at 49-all.

The additional five minutes of the game were simultaneously the longest and shortest periods of time for both teams. The two constantly attempted to outscore the other, with players like Cayabyab, Edimo Tiky, as well as Clarin desperately clawing back. The Lady Archers stayed patient, resulting in them receiving scoring opportunities from the free throw line. Sario added to the final score with two crucial shots from the stripe as the clocked striked zero at last, the scoreboard reading 61–57.

When asked about her thoughts on the victory, Torres responded on what winning the game meant to her, “Tiwala sa isa’t-isa, tiwala sa system na pinapagawa ni Coach.”

“Of course it’s an achievement for us; it’s an achievement for the school, it’s an achievement for the basketball program – especially the women’s program – we’ve been working at this for so long, haven’t won against NU for the longest time, and it’s the first time they sang their alma mater song in the second after how many years.” Villanueva remarked on DLSU giving NU its first loss in seven seasons. “It’s a big achievement for La Salle and a big achievement for [its] women’s basketball program for stopping that streak. It’s a big achievement but we want one more achievement – we want to win the championship.”

Catch the Lady Archers fight to continue their winning ways against the University of the East (UE) Lady Warriors at 1PM Saturday, November 26, at the same venue.

Box Scores:

DLSU 61 – Niantcho Tchuido 14, Torres 13, Sario 10, Binaohan 10, De La Paz 7, Jimenez 5, Arciga 2, Ahmed 0.

NU 57 – Cacho 12, Surada 11, Cayabyab 7, Clarin 7, Edimo Tiky 6, Pingol 6, Canuto 3, Solis 3, Fabruada 2, Bartolo 0, Betanio 0.

Quarterscores: 14 – 12, 32 – 25, 32 – 36, 49 – 49, 61 – 57.