UAAP 85 WBT: According to Haydee Ong, the Close Game Against NU Proves Nothing

Oct 11, 2022

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MANILA, Philippines – University of Santo Tomas came close to breaking National University’s 99-game winning streak in women’s basketball, which was the longest winning streak in the UAAP in any of its 85 seasons. 

In their matchup with the Lady Bulldogs on Sunday morning at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, the Growling Tigresses narrowly lost, 75-78. 

Even so, UST head coach Haydee Ong is aware that being close to winning the game is not the same as actually doing it. 

“This doesn’t prove anything for us yet,” the coach says confidently.

“The league has only just begun; we must work hard and keep our eyes on the prize, which is to make the Final Four,” added Ong.

Eka Soriano, who finished with 18 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists, and Tacky Tacatac, who added 18 points, were quite proud of how UST overcame an 11-point deficit in the final two minutes. 

“Kahit na natalo kami, sobrang nakaka proud pa rin kasi yun nga we know naman na yung NU is 99 wins na and we fought nga,” said Tacatac. 

(Even though we lost, we are still very proud because we know that NU has 99 wins and we fought.)

Soriano repeated, “Sobrang happy po kasi lumaban pa rin kami hanggang dulo.

(I’m very happy because we still fought until the end.)

The previous four games between Ong’s Growling Tigresses and NU, which ended in scores of 70-74, 65-70, 54-66, and this contest, were close calls. 

The bench strategist explained how the UST Lady Bulldogs are challenging the Lady Bulldogs’ dynasty, and how it always involves collaboration between the coaching staff and the players.

Although we are not the league’s top team, Ong stated to the girls, “as coaches, we should find a method to make it so that we have a better chance of beating every opponent we meet.” 

“I believe that the key to a successful team approach is hard effort and planning. It’s crucial that your players are teachable.

Coach Haydee Ong 

Former player and basketball coach Haydee Ong is from the Philippines. From 2008 until 2014, she served as the Philippines women’s national basketball team’s head coach. 

Haydee Ong participated for the University of Santo Tomas from 1987 to 1990, helping her school win four straight UAAP championships. From 1986 through 1993, Ong also competed for the women’s national basketball team of the Philippines.

For seven years, Ong has served as the Ateneo Lady Eagles’ UAAP head coach. 

She is the head coach of Enderun Colleges’ varsity women’s team. She served as the captain of Enderun during their inaugural season in the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (NAASCU), which they won by defeating Rizal Technological University in the championship game. In addition, Ong received the 2016 Coach of the Year award. 

In the 79th UAAP Season, Ong started leading the women’s squad of her alma mater, the University of Santo Tomas.

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