National University exacted vengeance on De La Salle University, the school that ended the Lady Bulldogs’ 108-game winning streak, scoring a 93-61 victory to take Game One of the UAAP Season 85 women’s basketball best-of-three Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.
The Lady Bulldogs will go for their seventh-straight championship on Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
“It’s a short series so our mindset is to get the first one. Their (NU) energy, their focus, the way they moved the ball today was truly awesome,” said NU head coach Aris Dimaunahan.
The Lady Archers kept in step with the Lady Bulldogs for the first seven minutes of the game, trailing by just one, 14-15.
And then NU went to Annick Edimo Tiky, Rhocel Bartolo, Mikka Cacho, and Tin Cayabyab to unleash a huge close to the opening salvo. Then after a big second quarter, they entered the break ahead by 14, 46-32.
The defending champions continued their domination in the third, making five three-pointers. Jayda Villareal’s conversion capped the run with six seconds left, establishing a commanding 22-point lead, 69-47.
NU’s hot hands from deep bridged to the payoff period. Villareal and Cacho made one apiece while Pring Fabruada chipped in two points. That gave them a 30-point advantage with 7:37 left on the clock, 77-47.
“Our mentality is to play this game the right way. Talking about our three-pointers today, it was a huge factor to have a huge distance against La Salle,” noted Dimaunahan, whose team made 13 treys compared to La Salle’s two conversions.
Cacho was 5-of-7 from the field to finish with 16 points to go with four rebounds and three assists, while Bartolo had 12 points. Angel Surada chalked up 10 points and seven rebounds.
13 of the 16 Lady Bulldogs fielded scored at least three points.
Fina Niantcho Tchuido paced the Green Archers with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Meanwhile, Ameng Torres had 14 points and five rebounds against five turnovers.
NU took the first round encounter last October 19, 93-72. Then La Salle pulled off the upset of all upsets with a 61-57 overtime win in the second round on November 23.
The DLSU win halted the Lady Bulldogs’ historic streak.
NU 93 –– Cacho 16, Bartolo 12, Surada 10, Clarin 8, Edimo Tiky 8, Cayabyab 7, Pingol 6, Villareal 6, Betanio 5, Solis 5, Fabruada 4, Canuto 3, Dimaunahan 3, Ico 0. Barroquillo 0, Talas 0.
La Salle 61 –– Niantcho Tchuido 18, Torres 14, Binaohan 11, Sario 9, De La Paz 4, Jimenez 2, Ahmed 2, Arciga 1, Dalisay 0, Castillo 0, Camba 0.
Quarterscores: 24-15, 46-32, 69-47, 93-61.