Gloriani lifts Paranaque past Taguig to win maiden WNBL crown

Gloriani lifts Paranaque past Taguig to win maiden WNBL crown

Gloriani lifts Paranaque past Taguig to win maiden WNBL crown

MANILA, Philippines — AJ Gloriani was the heroine for the Paranaque Lady Aces as they completed a 12-game sweep en route to the maiden Women's National Basketball League (WNBL) crown in the 2021 Pia Cayetano-WNBL season.

After a lopsided win against the Taguig Lady Generals in Game One of the Finals, the Lady Aces needed Gloriani's late heroics to pull away late, 83-78, and take the title at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga on Sunday.

Gloriani broke a 76-all deadlock with 38.9 ticks left with a dagger triple while also drawing the foul.

Clare Castro followed up Gloriani's miss from the charity stripe to extend the lead to five.

Taguig's Monique del Carmen then missed at the other end to help Gloriani find Castro for another bucket to put Paranaque ahead by seven with 22 ticks left.

Gloriani finished with 12 points and was named Finals MVP as she normed 11.5 points on a scorching 63% shooting with 3.6 assists in the two-game series.

"Talagang pinahirapan nila kami ngayon," said Gloriani about Taguig.

"Sa teammates ko, lahat kami naghirap at pinakita namin na we deserve this championship."

Allana Lim, who was awarded tournament MVP, topscored for Paranaque with 30 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

Castro stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks.

Meanwhile, Uratex Dream ruled the first leg of the historic WNBL 3×3.

Dream dominated JiaGuel, 21-10 (8:57) in the final also in San Fernando.

Uratex Dream, composed of Kaye Pingol, Tina Deacon, Alyssa Villamor and Shanda Anies, went 6-0 in the tournament — including a 4-0 sweep of Pool B.

Pingol was dominant in the final with her eight points — including the leg-winning duece with 1:03 left on the clock.

Anies had five points while Deacon and Villamor got four points each in the final of the level three FIBA 3×3 tournament.

Trina Guytingco and Cara Buendia had five points each for JiaGuel in the final.

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