Lady Bulldogs takeown shot at history

John Bryan Ulanday (The Philippine Star) - November 23, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — After Ateneo in men’s basketball, it’s National Unversity’s turn to seek its own page in history when it shoots for  the women’s crown in the 82nd UAAP season at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Lady Bulldogs are also eyeing to extend their amazing winning streak to 96 games when they play the UST Tigresses in Game 2 of the best-of-three.

The reigning five-time champions are coming off a close 70-65 win in Game 1 earlier this week.  

Unbeaten in 95 games spanning five years, the Lady Bulldogs are already being acknowledged as the best ever women’s college basketball team in the country.

The last time the NU team being coached by Pat Aquino tasted defeat was in 2013 in a game against La Salle.

Another win today would enable the Lady Bulldogs to surpass the UAAP feat of five straight championships scored by the Ateneo Blue Eagles of coach Norman Black from 2008 to 2012. It will push them closer to the seven straight championships pulled off by the UE Warriors of the late Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan from 1965 to 1971.

The Lady Bulldogs and Tigresses square off at 12 noon.

The unbeatable NU coach said  while his wards are ready to earn another page in the record books,  they will have to deal with the pressure.

“There’s pressure all the time. But I told the girls to just focus on what we have to deal with so hopefully we can get the championship anew,” he said. “We just have to play NU basketball for 40 minutes. We’ll see.” 

The Lady Bulldogs, however, will need to get the job done possibly without veteran center Jack Animam, who remains questionable in this potential closeout owing to an orbital fracture injury on her right eye.

The 82nd UAAP Season Mythical Five member suffered the injury during Gilas Pilipinas women’s FIBA Asia-Oceania Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament last week in New Zealand.

Minus Aminam, Fil-Am sensation Kelli Hayes has been tasked to lead NU’s charge together with  Kaye Pingol, Angel Surada and Rhena Itesi.

Season MVP Grace Irebu, meanwhile, will spearhead the Tigresses’ bid for a massive upset and try to forge a decisive Game 3.

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