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NU whitewash UP, near outright finals berth

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National University moved to a cusp of the UAAP Season 78 women’s basketball tournament finals after thwarting University of the Philippines, 87-39 Wednesday at the Blue Eagle Gym.

The 13-0 Lady Bulldogs will only need to defeat De La Salle University on Sunday to complete the elimination round sweep.

Nevertheless, they will end up with one of the two twice-to-beat advantages in the Final Four if they lose to La Salle.

The Lady Bulldogs opened the game on a 9-0 run and never looked back, establishing an insurmountable lead.

The Lady Maroons were then limited to only a single field goal in the third quarter as the Lady Bulldogs extended the margin to 68-26 after three quarters of play.

NU outscored UP 23-3 in the third frame although the latter opened the fourth period on a 9-0 run to cut the deficit down to 35-68 before both sides settled with a slower pace towards the end of the game.

Reigning MVP Afril Bernardino led NU with 16 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists while Shelley Gupilan added 15 points on 3-for-5 shooting from long range.

NU shot 45.3 percent from the field and limited UP to only 29.6 percent overall. The Lady Bulldogs also held a 50-32 lead in rebounding and a 52-20 lead in inside points.

Bea Daez had 12 points and 3 steals for UP which dropped to 4-9.

Scores:

NU (87) – Bernardino 16, Gupilan 15, Tongco 10, Paig 9, Animam 8, Sison 8, Itesi 7, Abriam 4, Nabalan 4, Miranda 4, Harada 2, Antiquiera 0, Del Carmen 0, Reyes 0, Layug 0.

UP (39) – Daez 12, Oliva 7, Tatel 6, Ordoveza 3, Franco 3, Isip 3, Medina 2, Pesquera 2, Cruz 1, Esplana 0, Lapid 0, Tan 0, Erquiaga 0.

Quarterscores: 25-9, 45-23, 68-26, 87-39.

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