DESTINY is now within arm's reach for National University as its quest for a historic five-peat is just one game away.
The Lady Bulldogs showed their class against Far Eastern University, 71-59, in Game One of the UAAP Season 81 women's basketball Finals Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Jack Animam led the assault with her 19 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, five steals, and two blocks as NU also extended its winning streak to 79 games.
"One game away from another championship. I'm just glad and happy that we won the game," said coach Patrick Aquino.
Rhena Itesi joined Animam upfront with 13 points and six boards, while Jeanne Camelo stepped up big off the bench with her 11 and four.
Ria Nabalan also added eight points, two rebounds, and two assists as the Lady Bulldogs dominated the paint, 44-30.
NU may have come away victorious, but Aquino remains wary of the challenge posed by the Lady Tamaraws, especially with some rust from their two-week break showing in the championship series opener.
"Marami pa kaming dapat gawin na adjustment," he said. "Naging rusty kami because we were away from competitive basketball for two weeks and I'm just happy that Jack stepped up."
Animam, for her part, is elated as her side inches their way closer to another historic mark.
"Masaya ako na nakuha namin yung Game One. Ito, one more win from a championship trophy," she said.
NU can clinch the title on Game Two on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Clare Castro towered for the Lady Tamaraws with 15 points, 13 rebounds, and six blocks, while Camille Taguiam had 13 in the defeat.
NU 71 – Animam 19, Itesi 13, Camelo 11, Nabalan 8, Fabruada 5, Del Carmen 4, Pingol 3, Cacho 2, Cac 2, Layug 2, Goto 2, Canuto 0, Harada 0, Ceno 0, Bartolo 0.
FEU 59 – Castro 15, Taguiam 11, Bahuyan 10, Mamaril 7, Quiapo 6, Adriano 6, Antiola 4, Vidal 0, Bastatas 0, Payadon 0, Dugay 0, Rebleza 0.
Quarters: 22-13, 37-23, 58-38, 71-59.