Lady Bulldogs force decider vs DLSU side
MANILA, Philippines - National U shifted to high gear in the second half to rout La Salle, 67-52, and force a deciding Game Three in their battle for the UAAP Season 76 women’s basketball crown at the Smart Araneta Coliseum yesterday.
The Lady Bulldogs drew 23 points and three assists from Andrea Tongco and 14 markers and 11 rebounds from Mythical 5 mainstay Afril Bernardino to level their race-to-two duel. The Lady Archers earlier took Game One, 72-48.
“First time in the championship. First time to win. The girls played with their hearts today, “ NU head coach Patrick Aquino said.
NU, which is gunning for a first-ever women’s championship and seeking to make up for the disappointing setback in the men’s side, and DLSU, which is aiming to break a 13-year title drought, will dispute the crown on Saturday.
The Lady Bulldogs, backed by Dioceldo Sy of Ever Bilena, unleashed a 14-2 blast late in the third quarter to seize a 49-39 spread and set the tone for the crucial triumph that kept their bid for a first-ever title flickering.
“We just had that little break, we had that run that allowed us to seize control,” said Aquino.
Trisha Piatos led the way for the Lady Archers with 14 points and three steals. Mythical 5 member Ara Abaca was held to six points but grabbed 11 rebounds and had three assists for DLSU.
NU 67 – Tongco 23, Bernardino 14, Gupilan 10, Abram 7, Bonleon 6, Paig 3, Sison 2, Escoto 2, Seno 0, Antiquera 0.
DLSU 52 – Piatos 14, Garcia 8, Santos 7, Abaca 6, Melendres 5, M. Ong 4, A. Ong 4, Corcuera 2, Claro 2, Ramos 0.
Quarterscores: 18-17, 31-30, 49-39, 67-52