NATIONAL University withstood a late stand by La Salle as it hacked out a 77-74 victory to take Game One of the UAAP women’s basketball Finals on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Lady Bulldogs outscored the Lady Archers, 28-10, in the third quarter to build enough cushion to weather a fourth-quarter rally and hold on to the win in the opener of the best-of-three series.
Gemma Miranda tallied 23 points, 15 boards, five assists, and two steals to lead the national team-loaded Lady Bulldogs, who stretched their unbeaten run this season to 15 games, closing in on a season sweep.
The two-time defending champions can achieve the impressive feat and and the hat-trick of titles in Game Two on Wednesday at the Big Dome.
Khate Castillo scored 11 of her team-high 18 points in the second half to lead the La Salle rally that fell short.
NU 77 – Miranda 23, Animam 14, Nabalan 11, Itesi 11, Bernardino 10, Camelo 3, Ceno 3, Del Carmen 2
La Salle 74 – Castillo 18, Penaranda 16, Claro 15, Revillosa 14, Nunez 7, Arciga 2, Vergara 2, Vela 0
Quarterscores: 20-19; 28-39; 56-49; 77-74,