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NU sweeps Ateneo, wins second straight women’s basketball crown

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The tougher the test they face, the more the National University Lady Bulldogs want to play. And for 32 straight games, that has been the formula to keeping an unblemished streak, en route to showing they are the undisputed queens of UAAP women’s basketball.

Using a second quarter run to pull away, NU completed a 16-game sweep of the UAAP Season 78 women’s basketball tournament after beating the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles, 75-55, in Game 2 of the finals, Sunday at the Blue Eagle Gym.

It was the 32nd straight victory for the Lady Bulldogs, duplicating their Season 77 feat and winning their second consecutive title.

Game 2 saw a more determined Lady Eagles side that challenged NU throughout the opening quarter, playing better defense and veering away from the bad habits they had in Game 1.

Back-to-back triples by Jollina Go opened the game and gave Ateneo a 6-2 lead, and the Lady Eagles held the Lady Bulldogs to only 10 first quarter points by playing a lower pace.

However, the Lady Bulldogs began pulling away in the second frame. A 9-0 run, which included two baskets by Afril Bernardino in transition, gave NU a 19-6 edge. Andrea Tongco then took over, scoring 11 points in the period as a relentless NU side poured 30 points to take a 40-21 halftime lead.

The eager Lady Eagles cut the deficit to 47-29 on transition baskets early in the third period although the Lady Bulldogs were simply on a different level, taking control until the end.

Bernardino paced NU with 18 points, 17 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 blocks, while Tongco put on an impressive display in her final year, finishing with 17 points. Rheena Itesi added 13 points and 9 boards for the Lady Bulldogs, who out-rebounded Ateneo 59-40 and had a 15-6 edge in second chance points.

Go fired 19 points to lead the Lady Eagles, while Jose and Guytingco combined for 21 markers.

Scores:

NU (75) – Bernardino 18, Tongco 17, Itesi 13, Gupilan 11, Abriam 6, Paig 3, Animam 2, Miranda 2, Del Carmen 2, Reyes 1, Antiquiera 0, Sison 0, Nabalan 0, Harada 0, Layug 0, Riel 0.

Ateneo (55) – Go 19, Jose 12, Guytingco 9, Javier 4, Yam 3, Aseron 3, Buendia 2, Lamar 2, Nitorreda 1, Tomita 0, Deacon 0, Moslares 0, Newsome 0, Payac 0, Veloso 0.

Quarterscores: 10-6, 40-21, 60-34, 75-55.

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