Stallions snap five-year skid against Vanguards in UCCL, 80-64

For the first time in five years, De La Salle Lipa (DLSL) Lady Stallions notched a dominating victory to end their losing record against the Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) Lady Vanguards, 80-64, in the 13th United Collegiate Championship League (UCCL) at FAITH Colleges, Sept. 21.

“Sa limang taon kong paglalaro, taon-taon namin silang kalaban, ngayon lang kami nanalo sa EAC,” said Stallions’ team captain, Jhasmine Laylo.

Despite the Vanguards’ numerous attempts to edge the Stallions through their speed and excellent ball-handling, the Lipa-based team did not fray as they countered their opponent through their refined lay-ups and solid defensive stops.

Joyce Ann Imbang warms up the game with a quick 2-point shot after gaining possession from the jump ball. (K. Afurong)

Opening the first quarter was EAC’s effective offensive sequence through the leadership of Amiela Loremia with her molten 3-point shot, seconded by Shaina Sierra’s swift lay-up, 8-6.

The Stallions, however, struggled in the first minutes which allowed Vanguards’ Pamela Lim to extend the lead with a fastbreak. EAC’s Ghia Mitante’s jump shot and a tight lay-up made it 15-21, in favor of EAC at the end of the quarter. 

Despite the slow start, the squad from Lipa increased the tempo as Lyrille Siscar sunk a ringless 3-point shot to open the second quarter. Siscar followed up three back-to-back lay-ups adding to Laylo’s another 3-point basket, which claimed the second quarter, 34-30.

Lady Stallions’ Tagle and Laylo team up to fend off the Vanguards’ offenses. (K. Afurong)

Eyeing to switch the lead, Vanguards’ Justine Palomillo fueled back in the second half as she scored first with a 2-pointer jumpshot. The Cavite-based team then went in hot pursuit to control the game, capitalizing back-to-back lay-ups from Loremia. 

 In spite of the Stallions’ effort to regain the advantage, the Vanguards were not easy to shut down as Ghia Mitante managed to deliver a contested lay-up which was furthered with consecutive 2-point baskets of the Palomillo-Lim tandem. 

Coach Paulo Lascano admitted that his team struggled in the first three quarters. 

“Ang ganit ng laban, ‘yong tipong hindi namin macounter ‘yong ginagawa nila,” Lascano said.

Arianne Castillo penetrates through the Vanguards’ defenses to score an easy basket. (K. Afurong)

Despite falling behind, the Stallions were committed to upset the Vanguards as they fought back in the final quarter with a combination of an improved offense and stronger defense. DLSL’s Siscar was able to drop hard 2-pointers contesting Mitante’s towering blocks, as Joyce Ann Imbang contributed her successful lay-up, 56-53.

Siscar and Imbang festered the Vanguards’ defense as they scored 12 and 10 points, respectively, supported by successive fast break opportunities and assertive lay-ups.

EAC’s Shaina Sierra lays the ball upward towards the basket despite DLSL’s defensive formation. (K. Afurong)

Ahead by a large margin in the scoreboard, Imbang continued the aggression as she abruptly scored another four points in the final minute of the game and finally secured the win for DLSL, 80-64.

Meanwhile, Laylo was confident that the Lady Stallions learned its lessons from the past years as she added, “Hindi na kami papayag pang matalo ulit”.

DLSL Lady Stallions remains undefeated with a 5-0 record this season.

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