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    NU Lady Bulldogs clinch sixth straight title with another season sweep

    Nov 23, 2019
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    NATIONAL University couldn't be denied of history.

    Despite losing two key cogs, the Lady Bulldogs remained as the standard in women's basketball, stamping their class over University of Santo Tomas with a 66-54 Game Two victory to rule UAAP Season 82 in another perfect fashion on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.

    The triumph completed NU's quest for a six-peat, while in the process extending their historic winning streak to 96 games.

    Monique del Carmen capped off her collegiate career with 15 points, four assists, two rebounds, and two steals to be named as the Finals MVP.

    Her seven first quarter points ignited the Lady Bulldogs' hot 25-8 opener, using that strong surge to extend the lead to 20, 30-10, in the first half.

    That lead, however, dwindled down to as low as eight, 46-38, early in the fourth quarter before NU exploded for an 18-2 run to extend the lead to 24, 64-40, with a Maymay Canuto three with 4:35 remaining.

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    Congolese center Rhena Itesi poured with 12 points, eight boards, three dimes, and three steals, while Kelli Hayes nabbed nine points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals to end her lone UAAP season.

    Making the conquest impressive was NU doing so without Mythical Team member and senior Jack Animam, who remained in Auckland, New Zealand as she nursed an orbital fracture on her right eye sustained in her run with Gilas Womens, leading to her missing the Finals altogether.

    Kaye Pingol also had to exit twice in the second half, first after an inadvertent collision with Ruby Portillo that hit her in the midsection in the third frame, before eventually being subbed out early in the fourth quarter after hurting her right shoulder.

    She had 15 points, five rebounds, two assists, and two steals as she was one of the six players who graduated from this team.

    Tantoy Ferrer paced the Golden Tigresses in the silver medal finish with 16 points, six rebounds, and three steals, while Season MVP Grace Irebu had a double-double of 11 points and 10 boards.

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    The Scores:

    NU 66 - Pingol 15, Del Carmen 15, Itesi 12, Hayes 9, Cacho 7, Canuto 3, Clarin 3, Surada 2, Bartolo 0, Cac 0, Fabruada 0, Goto 0, Harada 0.

    UST 54 - Ferrer 16, Irebu 11, Portillo 7, Soriano 6, Panti 5, Tacatac 4, Callangan 3, Rivera 2, Gandalla 0, Gonzales 0, Javier 0.

    Quarterscores: 25-8; 36-23; 46-36; 66-54.

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    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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