For the sixth straight season, National University is back in the Finals after completing a 14-0 eliminations sweep in the UAAP Season 82 Women’s Basketball Tournament with an 80-62 victory over University of the East Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Jack Animam anchored the powerhouse Lady Bulldogs with her 13 points, 21 rebounds, five assists, and one block as they annexed their unbeaten streak to 94 straight games.
What mattered more, however, was NU gaining an outright berth in the best-of-three title series. It now gets a chance to continue its dynasty with a potential sixth championship.
“I’m just happy that we accomplished with another feat, but we’re not finished with our goal, which is to win the championship,” said coach Pat Aquino.
Animam added: “This streak is nothing without the championship.”
Mayu Goto came off the bench with 11 points as the only other Lady Bulldog to score in double figures. Meanwhile, Jeuel Bartolo and Camille Clarin also provided spark with nine points apiece.
NU was quick to seize control of the match with a 28-12 start before taking a 49-23 halftime advantage. They then went on to enjoy leads that ballooned to 27 points.
Much of the credit for maintaining the lead in the second half goes to the solid bench support of the Lady Bulldogs. They drew 49 points from their substitutes en route to another easy win.
NU now lies in wait for the last team standing in the step-ladder semis. The Finals begins on Wednesday, November 20.
Graduating Lady Warrior Tin Cortizano led UE with 20 points, 18 rebounds, and four assists.
Joyce Terrinal got 17 points and four boards, while Jearzy Ganade also had a double-double with her 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The Lady Warriors ended their season at 1-13.
NU 80 –– Animam 13, Goto 11, Bartolo 9, Clarin 9, Hayes 6, Itesi 6, Surada 6, Pingol 4, Cac 3, Canuto 3, Dimaunahan 3, Cacho 2, Del Carmen 2, Fabruada 2, Harada 1.
UE 62 — Cortizano 20, Terrinal 17, Ganade 13, Pedregosa 5, Cuadero 3, Ordas 3, Caraig 0, Fernandez 0, Nama 0, Tinio 0.
Quarterscores: 28-12, 49-23, 69-46, 80-62.