JACK Daniel Animam had a monster as reigning two-time champion National University routed De La Salle, 93-77, to move two wins away from clinching an outright finals berth in the UAAP Season 79 women’s basketball tournament on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Animam had 25 points, 22 rebounds and four blocks in 32 minutes of play as the Lady Bulldogs improved to 12-0.
Earlier, University of Santo Tomas boosted its Final Four bid while eliminating last season’s runner-up Ateneo in the process with a 59-42 win.
NU, which also extended its three-year old perfect run to 44 games, has assured itself of a twice-to-beat bonus in case there is a Final Four.
The Lady Archers were very much in the game in the first 10 minutes of play until the Lady Bulldogs unloaded a 28-point second period to put the game beyond recall.
Gemma Miranda (23 points, 13 rebounds) and Afril Bernardino (21 points, 12 boards) also produced double-double numbers for NU.
De La Salle absorbed its second straight loss, dropping in a tie with idle University of the East in second place at 8-3, further tightening the race for the twice-to-beat slot – whether in the Final Four or stepladder format.
The Lady Archers will face the Lady Warriors in a vital match on Nov. 5 after a weeklong Halloween break.
Camille Claro came through with 21 points, five boards and four assists while Chay Vergara contributed 13 points, five rebounds and two assists for De La Salle.
Shanda Anies had 19 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists, Sofia Felisarta chipped in 13 points and seven boards, while Jhenn Angeles added 10 points for the Tigresses.
UST rose to 5-7, as it only trails fourth-running Adamson (5-6) by half-a-game in the race for the remaining semis berth.
The Lady Eagles bowed out of contention with their ninth loss in 13 matches, leaving the Lady Falcons and the Tigresses battling for the last slot.
Hazelle Yam paced Ateneo with 13 points and nine rebounds while Aiko Tomita and Kat Guytingco added 10 points apiece.