The NU Lady Bulldogs won their 64th straight win enroute to their 4th straight UAAP Women’s Basketball title (Photo by Jamil Buergo)
The NU Lady Bulldogs turned to its veterans late in the game to repulse upset-conscious UE Lady Warriors, 79-68, to take their fourth straight UAAP Women’s basketball title Sunday afternoon at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
It was also the 64th straight victory for the Lady Bulldogs who have swept all their games dating back to Season 77.
UE seemed poised to end the Lady Bulldog’s winning streak and extend the series in the early goings as they took an early 24-13 lead in the second quarter behind Ruthlaine Tacula’s hot shooting. NU immediately regrouped behind graduating player Trixie Antiquera three-point shooting to trim UE’s lead 35-33 to end the first half.
With UE still leading heading into the final quarter, NU turned to Rheena Itesi in the shaded lane as she scored 11 of the team’s 28 fourth quarter points and put and end to UE’s efforts to win the game.
“I’m so happy for the girls. They never gave up despite UE leading until the third” said NU Lady Bulldogs head coach Patrick Aquino. “We know they prepared for us and we expected the game to be like this. Hats off to UE” he added.
Despite the departure of their best players Gemma Miranda and Afril Bernardino, NU managed to get their winning streak going and their fourth straight title. UAAP Season 80 Women’s Basketball MVP Jack Danielle Animam had nothing but praise to her teammates. “This year, it was a total team effort. We proved na kahit wala na sila (Afril and Gemma), kaya naming manalo” Animam said.
Trixie Antiquera followed up her 30-point game 1 performance with a team-high 19 points on 6-of-9 three point shooting and was feted the Finals MVP award. Antiquera then dedicated her finals MVP award to Coach Pat after the game. “Dine-dedicate ko itong award kay Coach Pat kasi he believed in me. Nung una ayaw sa akin ng (NU) management kasi maliit daw ako pero nilaban ako ni Coach Pat.” said Antiquera.
Rheena Itesi and Ria Nabalan backed her up with 15 and 14 points respectively. JD Animam scored only 9 points but hauled down 23 rebounds.
UE was led by Ruthlaine Tacula as she tallied 25 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists.
NU (79): Antiquiera 19, Itesi 15, Nabalan 14, Animam 9, Sison 7, Harada 7, Del Carmen 6, Ano-os 2, Cacho 0, Camelo 0
UE (68): Tacula 25, Chan 19, Francisco 6, Requiron 5, Sto. Domingo 5, Ramos 4, Cortizano 2, Gayacao 2
Quarterscores: 13-16, 33-35, 51-54, 79-68