DEFENDING champions UST Growling Tigresses picked up two wins to open the UAAP Season 86 women’s 3×3 basketball tournament at the Ayala Malls Manila Bay on Thursday, May 2.

The Tigresses demolished the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 21-5, and the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 21-9, to top the standings through the first day with 42 points. 

Ateneo (1-1) and UP (0-2) finished the day with 30 and 20 points, respectively.

Holding on to a slim one-point edge, 3-2, the Tigresses limited Ateneo to just two points and went on a 13-0 run capped by Tacky Tacatac’s triple, 16-2.

Ateneo’s Sandra Villacruz ended the scoring drought with a fadeaway, 16-3, but the Tigresses responded with a game-sealing 5-2 spurt to put Blue Eagles away for good, 21-5.

In their match against UP, the Tigresses dominated early, mounting a 10-5 lead midway through the game.

With UST ahead by six, 14-8, Tacatac buried the Fighting Maroons with five points built on two triples and a layup to inch closer to victory, 19-8. 

After Fighting Maroon Christie Bariquit’s layup, Kent Pastrana sealed the win by sinking two free throws, 21-9.

Tacatac paced UST with nine and eight points in its matches against UP and Ateneo, respectively. 

“It’s just the start. We still have three more games,” USF head coach Haydee Ong told the Varsitarian. “We want more fluidity. We want more aggressiveness toward the start until the finish kasi kanina parang medyo slow start kami.”

“I think ‘yong slow start namin is all mental. Kailangan maging aggressive kami right away at the start of the buzzer,” she added.

In the girls’ division, the Junior Growling Tigresses trounced Adamson University, 21-14, to grab their first win and tally 21 points in their opener.

The UST Growling Tigresses will next face DLSU and Adamson at the same venue tomorrow, May 3. 

Meanwhile, the Junior Growling Tigresses will go against reigning champions Nazareth School of National University at the same date and venue. with reports from Ernest Martin G. Tuazon