NATIONAL University-Ever Bilena validated its status as the country’s premier women’s ballclub by ruling the first Rexona Women’s Invitational Tournament held over the weekend at the Buddhacare gym in Quezon City.
Behind the hot-shooting of Afril Bernardino and Gemma Miranda, the Lady Bulldogs used another torrid start to beat the University of the East-Cherrylume Lady Warriors, 86-82, and complete a two-game sweep of their title series.
Bernardino, who led the team’s 78-50 win in Game One, scored 23 points for NU, which claimed a championship that bodes well for its four-peat bid in the coming UAAP season.
But more importantly, NU avenged the two defeats it suffered at the hands of UE in the elims and during the single round semis.
“Nakabawi rin kami sa UE, but it was a good title series although we caught them off-guard in Game 1 of our series,” said NU coach Pat Aquino. “Despite our win, we can’t afford to relax in the UAAP. UE, I’m sure, will prepare well.”
Tournament director Horacio Lim handed the championship trophy the Lady Bulldogs, who have been undefeated in the UAAP tournament for the last three years.
Meanwhile, Air Force, getting 27 points from veteran Cindy Resultay, clinched third by downing Centro Escolar University, 82-72, in their one-game face-off.
Bernardino got big support from Miranda who finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and two assists while Daniel Animan had 11 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.
Tournament MVP Chack Cabindin and Janine Pontejos led UE with 23 each.
NU – Bernardino 23, Miranda 21, Animan 11, Nabalan 9, Abaca 7, Itesi 7, Tongco 4, Gupitan 2, Antiquerra 2, Harada 0, Del Carmen 0.
UE – Cabinbin 23, Pontejos 23, Sto. Domingo 20, Tacula 6, Ramos 4, Chan 4, Gayacao 2, Requiron 0, Cortinzano 0.
Quarters: 24-15, 39-36, 63-50, 86-82.