NATIONAL University pulled off a hard-earned 79-68 win over University of the East on Sunday in Game Two to bag the UAAP Season 80 women’s basketball title at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Lady Bulldogs clinched their fourth straight UAAP championship by recording their 64th straight victory.
After a lopsided win in Game One, NU, however, had to come back from a 12-point deficit to beat UE.
Trixie Antiquiera had 19 points, making 6 of 9 shots from beyond the arc, winning the Finals Most Valuable Player award.
Congolese center Rhena Itesi spearheaded the NU comeback, scoring 11 of her 15 points in the fourth period.
Despite going 16-0 again this season, NU coach Pat Aquino said winning the Season 80 crown was tough following the graduation of three-time MVP Afril Bernardino and Gemma Miranda.
“It was so hard. Give credit to UE, they played a hell of a game today. Alam namin na magiging ganun ‘yung laban. Talagang pinaghandaan kami,” said Aquino.
Ria Nabalan tallied 14 points, while season MVP Jack Danielle Animam had nine points and 23 rebounds.
Animam split her two free throws, while Itesi hit back-to-back baskets inside as NU regained the lead, 66-61.
UE led by nine, 52-43, but NU got back with an 8-2 run to enter the fourth trailing by only three, 54-51.
Ruthlaine Tacula contributed 25 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, while Eunique Chan had 19 markers for the Lady Warriors.
NU 79 - Antiquiera 19, Itesi 15, Nabalan 14, Animam 9, Sison 7, Harada 7, Del Carmen 6, Ano-os 2, Camelo 0, Cacho 0.
UE 68 - Tacula 25, Chan 19, Francisco 6, Sto. Domingo 5, Requiron 5, Ramos 4, Cortizano 2, Gayacao 2.
Quarterscores: 13-16; 33-35; 51-54; 79-68.