The UST Junior Growling Tigresses place second after succumbing to the National University Nazareth School in the UAAP Season 86 3x3 girls' basketball tournament at the Ayala Malls Manila Bay on Sunday, May 5. (Photo by Jana Francesca D. Yao/ The Varsitarian)

The UST Junior Growling Tigresses settled for silver after falling to the defending champions Nazareth School of National University Lady Bullpups, 21-14, in the finals of the UAAP Season 86 3×3 girls’ basketball tournament at Ayala Malls Manila Bay on Sunday, May 5.

UST’s Karylle Sierba drained a triple to give UST a one-point edge with less than four minutes to go, 12-11. However, NU responded with a 9-2 blitz, capped by Nicole Pring’s triple to lead 20-14.

Lady Bullpup Cielo Pagdulagan drove down the middle for the game-winning layup, shutting down UST’s title hopes for the second year in a row.

Junior Growling Tigresses head coach Arsenio Dysangco said the team showed promise throughout the tournament.

“They’re still young, they need to learn how to control their emotions, it’s all part of improving, it’s all part of growing up, it’s all part of their basketball,” Dysangco told the Varsitarian

The Junior Growling Tigresses finished the elimination rounds unscathed with a 5-0 win-loss record.  

“Baby steps pa lang naman,” the coach said. “I really feel na it is a very big stepping stone para sa 5-on-5 women’s basketball, so I’m very happy for them.”

Dysangco also voiced belief in the potential of the remaining members of UST’s quartet for this tournament, including newcomers Barby Dajao, Jannah Wenceslao, and Grachelle Boteros.

“These kids has just been with the program for a year and a half tapos ‘yong dalawa dun, seven months pa lang nasa atin…still work in progress pa rin but I’m very proud of them and the way we, the way they represented UST,” Dysangco said. with reports from Janica Kate J. Buan