Golden Tigresses’ UAAP title a fitting ending to Ferrer’s triumphant battle with ACL injury

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Golden Tigresses� UAAP title a fitting ending to Ferrer�s triumphant battle with ACL injury
UAAP Season 86 Finals MVP Tantoy Ferrer
UAAP Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – Two seasons ago, UST’s Tantoy Ferrer had a major injury.

Ferrer tore the ACL of her left knee in the 3x3 women’s basketball tournament of UAAP Season 84, when they faced UP in the semifinals.

The Growling Tigresses eventually lost to the NU Lady Bulldogs in the finals, wherein Ferrer had to sit and watch.

Now, two seasons after, the forward was instrumental to UST’s toppling NU’s dynastic reign in the 5x5 tourney, being named Final Most Valuable Player.

The graduating Tigress averaged 15.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in taking home the plum after UST escaped with a UAAP 71-69 Game 3 win over NU Wednesday.

“It was like impossible, because I had an ACL injury for a year. Then, now, we fought for the championship. It is a bonus to get the Finals MVP, but I am grateful,” she told reporters after their title-clinching win.

“Coach [Haydee Ong] repeatedly told me, ‘Toy, you can do it even if you came from an ACL injury. I know you can do it and you can still do it because you are working hard every day,’” Ferrer added.

And, she did.

With UST trailing by nine, 58-67, in the final 4:12 of the game, Ferrer scored six straight points off a 3-pointer and three free throws to cut NU’s lead to three, 64-67.

The momentum swing was enough to give the Tigresses their first championship since 2006.

“I was rehabbing and I saw them playing. That was what motivated me to pour in everything every game since day one that I got back to training,” she continued.

“I was really giving my 100% and this is the result. This is the bonus, that I came back from an ACL injury, and we brought home the title to Espana.”

Ong told reporters that “the heart and soul” of the team actually was under the weather with flu during Game 2.

“I just told her, ‘Toy, I need you on Wednesday.’ I told her she has to suit up because we cannot win without you,” she added.

That statement could not have been truer.

In her final collegiate game, Ferrer scattered 19 points, hauled down 14 boards and dished out two assists. She also had a steal and made 7-of-17 field goal attempts.

“After the second game, when we lost, they wanted to bring me to the ER to give me IV [fluids.] I told them I just wanted to rest,” she said.

“I rested for a day, then on Tuesday, I went back to training for the adjustments. Then, I played in the championship today. And, finally, we took home the championship.”

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