NU captures 7th straight UAAP women's basketball championship | Inquirer Sports

NU captures 7th straight UAAP women’s basketball championship

/ 03:57 PM December 11, 2022

NU Lady Bulldogs celebrate winning the UAAP women's basketball crown. –UAAP PHOTO

NU Lady Bulldogs celebrate winning the UAAP women’s basketball crown. –UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — National University earned its seventh straight UAAP women’s basketball championship as it completed a series sweep of La Salle in the Season 85 Finals with a 76-64 win Game 2 on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.

The Lady Bulldogs’ ‘seven-peat’ tied the longest dynasty in UAAP basketball, matching the record of University of the East men’s basketball team, led by Robert Jaworski, from 1965 to 1971.

NU dominated La Salle right from the get-go as it stretched what was just a 8-7 lead to a 27-11 advantage by unleashing a 19-4 run to end the opening period.

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Tin Cayabyab fired 14 of her team-high 18 points in the first half, shooting 3-of-4 from deep as NU led as many as 19 in the second quarter and had a 42-27 spread heading to the break.

Cayabyab, who only scored seven in Game 1, was named as Finals MVP as she also delivered five rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block in their title-clinching win.

“Isa sa hindi ko makakalimutan na nangyari sa amin this season is natalo kami against La Salle. Doon kami mas nagtulungan para makuha ‘tong championship namin. Mas naging together kami after namin natalo ang dami naming realizations kung ano yung mga dapat naming gawin,” said the rookie as NU dominated the team that ended its 108-game winning streak in the second round, 61-57, last November 23.

Unexpected din itong award na nakuha ko kasi wala sa mindset ko yan gusto ko lang mangyari this season is dapat ko iimprove and natulungan ako ng coaches and teammates ko.”

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(One of the things that I won’t forget this season is our loss to La Salle. It helped us to win this championship. It brought us together because we had a lot of realizations about what are we supposed to do. This award is unexpected. It wasn’t on my mindset because all I want this season is to improve with the help of my teammates and coaches.)

NU Lady Bulldogs celebrate winning the UAAP women's basketball crown. –UAAP PHOTO

NU Lady Bulldogs’ Kristine Cayabyab wins Finals MVP. –UAAP PHOTO

Angel Surada was also instrumental with 10 points, nine rebounds, and three assists. Annick Edimo Ticky chipped in nine points, while Camille Clarin added eight markers and eight boards.

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NU mounted its biggest lead of 23 points, 57-34, off Princess Fabruada’s split free throws with 1:50 remaining in the third.

The Lady Archers trimmed it to a 14-point deficit in the fourth period but Clarin nailed a dagger three from the right corner, 70-52, with 4:12 left, followed by Cayabyab’s basket.

The Lady Bulldogs remained unstoppable playing in a traditional Final Four format for the first time since 2013, ousting the No.4 seed Ateneo Blue Eagles before dominating the Lady Archers in Finals Game 1, 93-61, last Wednesday.

NU coach Aris Dimaunahan, who took charge after predecessor Pat Aquino stepped down last May, relished his first championship as the Lady Bulldogs successfully retained the crown in the women’s basketball’s return after three years.

“I want to congratulate the entire UAAP community for bringing back our league after the pandemic. Congratulations to La Salle for having a great season also this year. They gave us a hard time also in the four times that we played them. Hat’s off to Coach Cholo (Villanueva) for bringing out the best in this team,” said Dimaunahan.

“The credit goes to all of our girls. From Day 1, they’ve been committed, working hard and sacrificing a lot for this goal. The goal is to win the championship and I’m glad that each and everyone of us did our share, and we won.”

NU tied University of the Philippines as the third-winningest UAAP women’s basketball team with seven crowns behind University of Santo Tomas and Far Eastern University, who have 11 championships each.

La Salle settled for silver in its first Finals since 2016, as it leaned on the 29-point explosion of Charmine Torres, who also had seven rebounds and five steals but committed 11 of the team’s 23 turnovers where NU scored 19 from it.

Fina Niantcho Tchuido posted 13 points and 22 rebounds, including 13 offensive boards as she conspired with Torres to lead an eight-woman rotation in the loss.

The scores:

NU (76) — Cayabyab 18, Surada 10, Edimo Tiky 9, Clarin 8, Cacho 6, Pingol 6, Bartolo 5, Canuto 4, Fabruada 4, Villareal 4, Betanio 2, Solis 0, Barroquillo 0, Dimaunahan 0, Ico 0.

DLSU (64) — Torres 29, Niantcho 13, Arciga 8, Sario 7, Binaohan 5, De La Paz 2, Jimenez 2, Ahmed 2.

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Quarterscores: 27-11, 42-27, 61-40, 76-64

TAGS: De La Salle Lady Archers, NU Lady Bulldogs, UAAP Season 85

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