UAAP women’s basketball: NU picks up 93rd straight win, nears elims sweep
ANTIPOLO—National University inched closer to another elimination round sweep after rolling past Ateneo, 76-59, in the UAAP Season 82 women’s basketball tournament Saturday at Ynares Center here.
The Lady Bulldogs rose to 13-0 and picked up their 93rd straight win but not after bucking a slow start behind Kelli Hays and Angel Surada.
Hayes and Surada sparked NU’s breakaway in the middle quarters where the Lady Bulldogs stretched a two-point advantage into a commanding 58-41 lead heading into the final frame.
“I’m just happy we can accomplish the feat again of having six straight 14-0s. It’s an accumulation of all the hard work that the girls have been doing. They deserve it, so now we have to be ready for the next steps,” said NU head coach Pat Aquino.
In the second game, University of Santo Tomas locked up the No. 2 seed after scraping past Adamson, 57-53.
Grace Irebu, the reigning MVP, powered the Tigresses (11-3) with 27 points and 20 rebounds.
Irebu saved her best for last with 13 points in the fourth period, including a pair of crucial baskets that kept the Lady Falcons at bay.
NU regained its dominant form after having to survive a scare from second-running University of Santo Tomas on Wednesday where it held on for a 74-70 squeaker.
Aquino was pleased to see his wards’ return to form.
“I guess it’s more on mental toughness. You just have to stay focused on the things you have to do. Everyone should be helping out. It should be more of a team contribution,” said Aquino, whose squad shoots for an outright finals berth against a skidding University of the East side on Wednesday.
The Lady Bulldogs had almost everyone on board again with Hayes, Surada and Rhena Itesi scoring 10 points apiece. Surada also grabbed 10 rebounds.
Jack Animam added an all-around effort with eight points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Hazelle Yam topscored with 18 points while Jhaz Joson and Kat Guytingco scored 14 and 13, respectively for the also-ran Lady Eagles.
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