NU denies FEU comeback in UAAP women's finals opener
MANILA, Philippines – New challenger, same result.
The NU Lady Bulldogs dynasty continue their historic dominance in the UAAP with a 71-59 win over the FEU Lady Tamaraws in Game 1 of the Season 81 women's basketball Finals at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday, December 1.
Jack Animam stuffed the statsheet with a 19-point, 12-rebound double-double plus 5 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocks to boot as the Lady Bulldogs moved within a win of a fifth straight championship.
Rhena Itesi also chipped in 13 markers and 6 boards in the easy win.
"One game away from another championship and I’m just glad and happy na we won the game," said multi-titled head coach Pat Aquino.
"We still have a lot of adjustments to work on. At the same time, we were a bit rusty after being away from competitive basketball for almost two weeks. I’m just happy that Jack came out playing. I hope that we can get the championship next game."
FEU star center Clare Castro paced the Tamaraws' valiant charge with 15 points, 13 boards and 6 blocks. Fatima Quiapo was locked down to just 6 markers, all off free throws, with 5 boards and 5 assists on a 0-of-9 clip from the field.
The long-undefeated champs culminated their methodical thrashing of FEU with an Itesi jumper off an assist from last season's MVP Animam for the 27-point lead, 65-38, with over 7 minutes left in the 4th.
FEU went on a 21-6 tear right after that but simply ran out of time as NU still won by 12.
Game 2 will be on Wednesday, December 5 at the Araneta Coliseum as the Lady Bulldogs look to complete yet another historic season sweep.
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.