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UAAP 86 WBB: Konateh has breakout game as NU escapes Ateneo for solo lead


National University showed strong resolve to put away upset-seeking Ateneo de Manila University 84-74 in the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Basketball Tournament Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Lady Bulldogs, who notched their fifth straight win, temporarily rose to the top of the standings with a 7-1 record with University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas playing as of publishing.

Jainaba Konateh stepped up big time for the defending, seven-time champions.

The 19-year-old Gambian center, who averaged 4.6 points and 4.0 rebounds in the first round, produced 14 points, seven rebounds, and three steals.

“We challenged her to play at par with two big guys (Kacey Dela Rosa and Sarah Makanjuola) of Ateneo,” said a pleased NU head coach Aris Dimaunahan. “Ateneo’s bigs averaged double-doubles before our game so our challenge for her was to be our big guy right there. She did a great job of standing her feet against those two big guys.”

The Lady Bulldogs, though, needed to dig deep against the Blue Eagles.

Facing a 17-point deficit in the first half, Dela Rosa, Junize Calago, Makanjuola, and Sandra Villacruz leveled the ballgame at 56-all halfway through the third period.

Ann Pingol, Konateh, Camille Clarin, Tin Cayabyab, and Princess Fabruada all came to life to give the Lady Bulldogs a commanding 13-point cushion before the start of the payoff period.

Stef Berbarabe, Cayabyab, Konateh, and Marylene Solis then slammed the door on the Blue Eagles by extending the lead to 82-66 with less than four minutes remaining in the game.

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“Credit (to Ateneo) for coming out in the second half with more fire and more desire than us in the first six minutes of that quarter. They were able to tie the ballgame,” said Dimaunahan. “I’m happy we got the win pero hindi ako masaya dahil nangyari yung stretch na yun.”UAAP-85-Womens-Basketball-NU-vs.-ADMU-Kristine-Cayabyab-05582 UAAP 86 WBB: Konateh has breakout game as NU escapes Ateneo for solo lead ADMU Basketball News NU UAAP  - philippine sports news

Tin Cayabyab led the Lady Bulldogs with 18 points, six rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Berbarabe, a one-and-done guard, contributed 11 points, five rebounds, five steals, and two assists while Gypsy Canuto scored 11 points.

The Lady Bulldogs’ defense held tight with 19 steals. They forced the Blue Eagles to make 28 turnovers and scored 31 points off of them.

NU’s bench also proved too deep with Ateneo as it had 39 points compared to the latter’s 10.

NU will go up against Far Eastern University this Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Adamson University Gym.

Meanwhile, the Blue Eagles fell to a 5-3 record in fourth place.UAAP-85-Womens-Basketball-NU-vs.-ADMU-Kacey-Dela-Rosa-05389 UAAP 86 WBB: Konateh has breakout game as NU escapes Ateneo for solo lead ADMU Basketball News NU UAAP  - philippine sports news

Dela Rosa tied the season-high output of 29 points in the contest to with 12 rebounds and two blocks. Dela Rosa’s teammate Jhazmin Joson and De La Salle University guard Luisa San Juan also dropped 29 points against University of the Philippines last October 21 and Ateneo last October 4, respectively.

Joson was limited to just four points but produced nine rebounds and eight assists.

Calago, who fouled out with four minutes left in the game, contributed 16 points, four rebounds, and one steal. Makanjuola had nine points, eight rebounds, and four steals.

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Ateneo will look to bounce back against University of the East this Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

NU 84 – Cayabyab 18, Konateh 14, Berbarabe 11, Canuto 11, Surada 8,Betanio 7, Fabruada 6, Clarin 5, Pingol 4, Bartolo 0, Solis 0, Talas 0.

Ateneo 74 – Dela Rosa 29, Calago 16, Makanjuola 9, Solis 6, Villacruz 6, Joson 4, Eufemiano 2, Cancio 2, Nieves 0, Mataga 0, Angala.

Quarterscores: 33-23, 54-41, 72-59, 84-74.

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces


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