National University survived a near collapse in the end game as it blew away a 20-point cushion although did just enough to book a 66-63 win over University of the East Wednesday in the UAAP Season 78 women’s basketball tournament at the Blue Eagle Gym.
The Lady Warriors simply refused to roll over and die, having answers every time the Lady Bulldogs seemed to pull away.
After a 7-0 run to open the fourth made it a commanding 57-37 lead for National U, UE started to cut the gap little by little as Pat Aquino opted to stay with his bench for a long time.
Triples by Glozelle Bale and Eunique Chan capped 10 unanswered points for the Lady Warriors, making it 57-47.
Later, six straight foul shots by UE cut the deficit down to 60-53. Chery Ano-os then converted on a drive and added two more charities later to make it 61-57.
Coming off a timeout, NU fielded its starters back, but Afril Bernardino turned the ball over, leading to a fastbreak and-one by Ano-os that pulled UE to within 60-61.
Shelley Gupilan and Bale exchanged triples in the ensuing plays for a 64-63 NU cushion with only 18 seconds left.
Gupilan scored a split from the line before a missed trey by Bale led to another split, this time by Jack Danielle Animam to make it 66-63.
UE was never able to convert after that point, as the Lady Warriors dropped to 2-3 in the team standings.
Bernardino led the defending champions with 13 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. Gupilan added 12 points while Animam and Itesi contributed 9 apiece.
Ano-os and Chan topscored for the Lady Warriors with 17 points each. The Recto crew scored 16 fastbreak points, keeping them in the game although 33 turnovers affected them in the end.
NU (66) – Bernardino 13, Gupilan 12, Itesi 9, Animam 9, Nabalan 5, Abriam 4, Sison 4, Del Carmen 4, Antiquera 3, Tongco 2, Riel 1, Paig 0, Miranda 0, Reyes 0, Layug 0, Harada 0.
UE (63) – Ano-os 17, Chan 17, Sto. Domingo 9, Bale 9, Ramos 4, Mendina 3, Tacula 2, Nama 2, Taguiam 0, Francisco 0, Sampaga 0.
Quarterscores: 18-11, 33-19, 50-37, 66-63.
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