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For Jack: NU Lady Bulldogs extend dynasty to six golden years


National University’s drive for 96 ended with title number six.

The Lady Bulldogs capped off another perfect season with a 66-54 Game Two win over University of Santo Tomas, Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena, to capture the UAAP Season 82 Women’s Basketball championship.

Monique del Carmen fired 15 points, four assists, two rebounds, and two steals. She got things done early with seven first-quarter points to set the tone for NU’s 25-8 start, which extended to 20, 30-10, in the second frame.

Still, the Growling Tigresses hacked down that lead, bring it to as low as eight, 46-38, early in the final canto. But the Lady Bulldogs brandished their full strength, answering back with a killer 18-2 spurt that brought the lead back up to 24, 64-40, with 4:35 left.

“Sobrang happy with everything,” said coach Pat Aquino, whose NU Squad continued its dynasty in the women’s division. “Hindi ko ine-expect na we will have six tiles in six years with no losses. We are so happy for the schools and the players.”

Del Carmen capped off her collegiate career with a Finals MVP to boot. She exits Jhocson together with Congolese center Rhena Itesi, who had 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals; and Kelli Hayes, who collected nine points, three boards, two assists, and two steals.

Kaye Pingol also registered 15 points, five rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Unfortunately she was unable to finish the game after hurting her right shoulder.

NU dedicated this win to graduating senior Jack Animam, who remained in Auckland, New Zealand. Animam suffered an orbital fracture on her right eye, which led to the Mythical Team member missing the Finals series.

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Completing the graduates for the Lady Bulldogs is Sam Harada. Together with del Carmen and Itesi, she follows in the footsteps of Ria Nabalan and Jheanne Layug as players who suited up for five UAAP seasons without tasting a defeat.

UST leaned on Tantoy Ferrer, who led her side with 16 points, six rebounds, and three steals.

Season MVP Grace Irebu also nabbed 11 points and 10 boards in the bridesmaid finish for the Growling Tigresses.

Ruby Portillo, Lon Rivera, Kikay Gandalla, Shen Callanga, Carolina Sangalang, Karla Manuel, and Josalyn Casiano all played their final game for UST.


The Scores:

NU 66 — Pingol 15, Del Carmen 15, Itesi 12, Hayes 9, Cacho 7, Canuto 3, Clarin 3, Surada 2, Bartolo 0, Cac 0, Fabruada 0, Goto 0, Harada 0.

UST 54 — Ferrer 16, Irebu 11, Portillo 7, Soriano 6, Panti 5, Tacatac 4, Callangan 3, Rivera 2, Gandalla 0, Gonzales 0, Javier 0.

Quarterscores: 25-8, 36-23, 46-36, 66-54.

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