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UE belles secure title clash with NU five

Derailed the last time out, University of the East took care of its business against University of Santo Tomas, 69-62, yesterday to secure the remaining finals ticket in the UAAP Season 80 women’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Smarting from a 63-53 loss in the series opener last Wednesday, the Lady Warriors came through with a big explosion down the stretch to complete their fightback from an early 14-point deficit.

The victory, marred by a near bench-clearing brawl in the closing seconds, helped UE earn the right to face three-time defending champion National University in a best-of-three titular showdown starting on Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

“Kailangan naming mag-double time. Basta handa naman kami palagi,” said UE coach Ai Libornio, who’s been the main reason behind the Lady Warriors’ turnaround as legit title contenders. “Susubukan naming mag-champion this year.” (Jerome Lagunzad)