National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs notched their sixth win after beating the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws, 80-69, in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) women’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Wednesday.
The Lady Tamaraws waxed hot in the opening minutes of the match, 0-6. But NU’s Jack Animam snatched the lead from FEU after completing a three-point play with 3:30 minutes remaining in the first quarter, 12-10.
FEU’s Valerie Mamaril notched a buzzer-beating jumper to keep NU at bay, 19-16.
The Lady Bulldogs ignited a 14-0 run to break away from FEU through the efforts of Animam, Gemma Miranda, Rhena Itesi, and Afril Bernardino with 4:25 minutes remaining in the second period, 33-19.
“I told them you can’t be doing this. All the time, you have to start good and then finish stronger. You cannot just start slow; get your groove so I addressed that in the halftime. Maybe more on adjusting on my part and the coaching staff on how to motivate them to have that good start always,” said NU head coach Patrick Aquino.
Reyna Capua stopped the FEU’s hemorrhage in the last minute of the first half, 23-41.
With 1:33 minutes remaining in the match, the Lady Tamaraws completed the 14-0 run as Joannah Ouano hit a trey, 78-65.
Animam top scored NU with 17 points and 14 rebounds, while Miranda and Ria Nabalan combined for 31 markers. Bernardino added 13 points and 10 boards.
Mamaril led FEU with 20 markers, followed by Angelica Gerner with 11 and Precious Arellado with 10.
The Lady Bulldogs sit at the top spot with 6-0 win-loss card, while the Lady Tamaraws hold a 1-5 record.
Earlier, the Adamson University (AdU) Lady Falcons survived the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigresses, 66-62, to clinch their third win in the first round of eliminations.
The Lady Falcons limited the Tigresses to only 22 baskets out of 71 attempts. Adamson also sank more free throws with 19 out of 34, compared to UST’s 12 out of 26.
“They didn’t give up. They didn’t quit. We were down all throughout the game. We just took the lead in the last three minutes. I told them during the halftime that we can’t win just defending once; we just have to make one stop at a time. I’m glad that they responded so I really give the credit to the players,” said Adamson head coach Mike Fermin.
Kaye Pingol led Adamson with 18 points, while Nathalia Prado added 17 markers and eight rebounds. Shanda Anies led UST with 13 points. Tigresses Misaela Larosa and Bettina Peñaflor combined for 21 points and 18 boards.
The Lady Falcons at fourth place hold a 3-4 win-loss slate while the Growling Tigresses carry a 2-4 record.