NATIONAL University routed La Salle, 98-44, to remain unbeaten in the UAAP Season 82 women's basketball tournament Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Jack Animam had 22 points, 15 rebounds and six assists, to go with a steal and a block as the Lady Bulldogs improved to 8-0 this season and extend their win streak to 88 victories.
"It not only helps NU right now, but it also motivates her a lot to play better. We need Jack to play better every game kasi siya ang heart and soul ng team ngayon eh. Tumataas ang game namin when she's there," said coach Pat Aquino.
Congolese center Rhena Itesi dropped a double-double with her 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Kaye Pingol had 14 points, six steals and two boards.
Fil-Am forward Kelli Hayes had 11 points and three assists, while rookie Camille Clarin added 11 points, three rebounds and three dimes.
NU was quick to assert control of the game with a 28-8 opener before unloading 32 points in the second quarter to seize a 40-point halftime lead, 60-20.
The lead swelled to as high as 57, after a putback from Animam with 1:02 remaining in another ruthless showing for the six-peat-seeking defending champions.
Aquino, however, believes that the Lady Bulldogs could still improve even after this 54-point blowout.
"I want them to play better than that," he said. "Di naman ako metikuloso, but we want to exceed more on some of those things that we have on our expectations kasi after Jack and Rhena this season, yung mga natitira na lang eh so I want the others to experience and play a lot to prepare them for next season."
Bennette Revillosa had 13 points, five rebounds and three assists for the Lady Archers, who suffered their second straight loss for a 3-5 record.
Rookie Kent Pastrana was also held to just eight points, four boards, and three steals, as Lee Sario got eight points and five rebounds as well for La Salle.
In the second game, Far Eastern University blew University of the Philippines out by 30 points, 76-46, for its third straight win.
Valerie Mamaril had 21 points, three steals and two assists, while Clare Castro got her way down low with 17 points and seven rebounds as the Lady Tamaraws improved to a 6-2 record.
"Gusto naming mamuhunan at nabigyan kami ng medyo magaan na kalaban. Confidence boost namin ito to start the second round," said coach Bert Flores.
Judy Abat corralled nine points, nine rebounds and four assists, while Choy Bahuyan had eight points, seven boards and two dimes.
The Lady Tamaraws used a 22-point second quarter to run away from the Lady Maroons at halftime, 35-18, before the lead extended to as high as 33 numerous times in the payoff period.
Now FEU turns its attention to the undefeated NU on Wednesday.
"Mas lalong lumalim yung team nila eh. Naka-adjust na rin itong NU. Kami naman, after Clare puro maliliit na ang players namin kaya sana pumasok yung mga three-points namin," said Flores.
Lulu Ordoveza topped the still-winless UP (0-8) with 12 points and six rebounds as it suffered its 38th straight loss.
Jona Lebico had herself 10 points and nine boards, while Pat Pesquera nabbed a double-double with her 10 points and 13 rebounds in the losing cause for the Lady Maroons.
NU 98 - Animam 22, Itesi 18, Pingol 14, Hayes 12, Clarin 11, Cac 7, Cacho 6, Canuto 2, Fabruada 2, Goto 2, Surada 2, Bartolo 0, Del Carmen 0, Harada 0.
La Salle 44 - Revillosa 13, Pastrana 8, Sario 8, Espinas 6, Jajurie 2, Jimenez 2, Paraiso 2, Quingco 2, Torres 1, Binaohan 0, Castillo 0, Dalisay 0, Okoli 0.
Quarterscores: 28-8; 60-20; 79-32; 98-44.
FEU 76 - Mamaril 21, Castro 17, Abat 9, Bahuyan 8, Jumuad 6, Quiapo 5, Adriano 3, Pacia 3, Delos Santos 2, Payadon 2, Antiola 0, Bastatas 0, Nagma 0, Vidal 0, Villanueva 0.
UP 46 - Ordoveza 12, Lebico 10, Pesquera 10, Sanchez 7, De Leon 2, Gonzales 2, Gusilatar 1, Hidalgo 0, Larrosa 0, Lucman 0, Taulava 0.
Quarterscores: 13-5; 35-18; 57-32; 76-46.