National U on verge of season sweep with squeaker over La Salle in opener of UAAP women's finals
Afril Bernardino and four other NU players score in double figures. Jerome Ascano

NATIONAL University withstood a late stand by La Salle as it hacked out a 77-74 victory to take Game One of the UAAP women’s basketball Finals on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Lady Bulldogs outscored the Lady Archers, 28-10, in the third quarter to build enough cushion to weather a fourth-quarter rally and hold on to the win in the opener of the best-of-three series.

Gemma Miranda tallied 23 points, 15 boards, five assists, and two steals to lead the national team-loaded Lady Bulldogs, who stretched their unbeaten run this season to 15 games, closing in on a season sweep.

The two-time defending champions can achieve the impressive feat and and the hat-trick of titles in Game Two on Wednesday at the Big Dome.

Khate Castillo scored 11 of her team-high 18 points in the second half to lead the La Salle rally that fell short.


The scores:

NU 77 – Miranda 23, Animam 14, Nabalan 11, Itesi 11, Bernardino 10, Camelo 3, Ceno 3, Del Carmen 2

La Salle 74 – Castillo 18, Penaranda 16, Claro 15, Revillosa 14, Nunez 7, Arciga 2, Vergara 2, Vela 0

Quarterscores: 20-19; 28-39; 56-49; 77-74,

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