UAAP: NU crushes La Salle, nears seventh straight women’s basketball title
MANILA, Philippines — National University inched a win closer to its seventh consecutive title as it dominated La Salle, 93-61, in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 85 women’s basketball Finals on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Mika Cacho led the Lady Bulldogs’ collective effort with 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field on top of four rebounds and three assists.
Rhocel Bartolo was also instrumental with 12 points, while Angel Surada put up 10 points and seven boards to avenge their 61-57 second-round loss to La Salle in overtime that ended their 108-game winning streak on November 23.
With 13 of the 16 Lady Bulldogs contributing at least three points, NU coach Aris Dimaunahan lauded the response of his wards as they seek to close out the Lady Archers in Game 2 on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“We talked about it that in a short series, it’s very important that you get the first one. That’s the mindset for today’s game, and I thought our ladies were up to the challenge of getting the win today. Their energy and their focus, the way they moved that ball today was truly awesome,” said Dimaunahan. “This is something that we could be happy about but we cannot celebrate still because the job is not yet done. We have one game to go. We’ll look at the tape and see where we can improve.”
The Lady Archers kept it close, trailing by just one, 14-15, early in the first quarter. But the defending champions pulled away in the second quarter with Cacho, Bartolo, Annick Edimo Tiky, and Tin Cayabyab building a 14-point lead at halftime, 46-32.
NU imposed its dominance in the second half and mounted the biggest lead of 33 points, 90-57, off Ange Surada’s layup with 2:05 left.
Fina Niantcho Tchuido led La Salle with 18 points and 15 rebounds, while Ameng Torres chipped in 14 points and five boards but committed five turnovers.
NU 93 — Cacho 16, Bartolo 12, Surada 10, Clarin 8, Edimo Tiky 8, Cayabyab 7, Pingol 6, Villareal 6, Betanio 5, Solis 5, Fabruada 4, Canuto 3, Dimaunahan 3, Ico 0. Barroquillo 0, Talas 0.
La Salle 61 — Niantcho Tchuido 18, Torres 14, Binaohan 11, Sario 9, De La Paz 4, Jimenez 2, Ahmed 2, Arciga 1, Dalisay 0, Castillo 0, Camba 0.
Quarters: 24-15, 46-32, 69-47, 93-61.
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