THE National University Lady Bulldogs once again asserted their dominance in UAAP women's basketball, beating the Ateneo Lady Eagles, 75-55, on Sunday to win a second successive championship.
The Lady Bulldogs got off to a slow start but found their form in time to take the fight out of the fighting Lady Eagles and complete another 16-game sweep of the tournament at the Ateneo Gym in Quezon City.
NU held a 10-6 lead after the opening quarter, but an adjustment on the backcourt by coach Pat Aquino finally had the Lady Bulldogs going full throttle behind a cluster of nine points of Andrea Tongco.
Jolina Go and Danica Jose tried to tow the host school back into the game, but the defense of the defending champions forced the Lady Eagles to 33 turnovers in the game.
“Ginawa ko lang po ang pinapagawa sa akin, saka hindi na po namin sila hinayaang bumawi. Kasi baka magkaroon sila ng slight opening, makasilat pa,” said Tongco.
See video of game highlights:
Former tournament MVP Afril Bernardino led the Lady Bulldogs with 17 points to win Finals MVP honors. Tongco added 17 points.
Aquino, who is also the national women's team coach, said the twin title coups will be the start of a dynasty for the Lady Bulldogs, who are supported by longtime basketball patron Dioceldo Sy.
“Siguro it’s a beginning of a dynasty, probably. We’re hoping we can continue until next year and so forth,” said Aquino, a former UP Maroon player.
Aquino hopes their new recruits will make an immediate impact next season as four of his key players in Shelley Gupilan, Risa Paig, Krstine Abriam and Angela Tongco will graduate after the season.
NU 75 - Bernardino 18, Tongco 17, Itesi 13, Gupilan 11, Abriam 6, Paig 3, Animam 2, Miranda 2, Del Carmen 2, Reyes 1, Antiquerra 0, Sison 0 Nabalan 0, Harada 0, Layug 0, Riel 0
Ateneo 55 - Go 19, Jose 12, Gutingco 9, Javier 4, Yam 3, Aseron 3, Buendia 2 Lamar 2, Nitorreda 1, Tomita 0, Deacon 0, Moslares 0, Newsome 0, Payac 0, Veloso 0