Photo by Joelle Alison Mae P. Eusebio

THE UST Growling Tigresses eliminated the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws, 86-72, in the UAAP Season 80 women’s basketball tournament stepladder semifinals at the Araneta Coliseum Sunday.

UST will now face the University of the East, which holds a twice-to-beat advantage, on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Tigresses led by eight in the fourth, before uncorking an 8-0 run capped by Kikay Gandalla’s layup to open up their biggest lead at 16, 84-68, with 1:19 left in the payoff period.

“Our defense held on in the last five minutes. We contained [Valerie] Mamaril, she was zero out of nine [in shooting.] And we hit our three-pointers,” UST head coach Haydee Ong said.

The Tigresses sank 11 of their 22 attempts from beyond the arc.

UST’s defense held FEU’s main option Valerie Mamaril scoreless in 20 minutes.

Five Tigresses scored in double-figures led by Anjel Anies’ 24 points, including 18 in the second half.

“I’m blessed [with the win.] It’s my last year. Gagawin ko talaga lahat. Patayan na kung patayan,” Tigresses team captain Jhenn Angeles said.

Precious Arellado paced FEU with 19 while three other Lady Tams scored in double figures.

UST scored 21 points off FEU’s 20 turnovers.