Lady Bulldogs eliminate Blue Eagles, book 8th straight UAAP finals appearance

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Lady Bulldogs eliminate Blue Eagles, book 8th straight UAAP finals appearance
Camille Clarin

MANILA, Philippines – The NU Lady Bulldogs are back in the finals of the UAAP Season 85 women's basketball tournament for the eighth straight season after beating the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP Season 85 Final Four, 83-64, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.

In their first Final Four contest since 2013 — the squad has been qualifying outright to the finals for six straight years — the Lady Bulldogs fended off a gallant challenge by the Blue Eagles.

NU used a huge 17-2 scoring burst after Ateneo got within six, 54-48, midway through the third salvo.

Camille Clarin hit a triple to give NU their biggest lead of the contest at 21 points, 71-50, with 6:54 ticks remaining in the game.

Clarin's 3-pointer capped off the scoring run, which abridged the third and fourth quarters. The advantage proved too comfortable for the Lady Bulldogs who cruised to the win.

"I have to give credit to our ladies for putting in the work kahit nai-scoran kami. Hindi sila bumitaw and they just kept on fighting, they just stayed together to get this win." said NU head coach Aris Dimaunahan.

The Lady Bulldogs thus punched the first ticket to the finals where they gun for their seventh consecutive crown.

Clarin paced NU with 19 points, including five triples, and three rebounds and three assists, while Mikka Cacho and Annick Edimo Tiky added 15 and 10 points, respectively.

Kacey Dela Rosa paced the Blue Eagles with a double-double of 22 points and 18 rebounds. She also had seven blocks.

Graduating guard Jhazmin Joson contributed 13 points, four boards, four assists, three steals and one block.

NU awaits the winner of the Final Four contest between the UST Growling Tigresses and the DLSU Lady Archers.

The Lady Archers tarnished NU's perfect record for the season, and stopped a 108-game win streak to force the Lady Bulldogs into a traditional Final Four for the first time since 2013.

The Scores

NU (83) - Clarin 19, Cacho 15, Tiky 10, Canuto 8, Cayabyab 8, Pingol 7, Bartolo 7, Fabruada 6, Betanio 3, Surada 0.
Ateneo (64) - Dela Rosa 22, Joson 13, Calago 10, Makanjoula 7, Villacruz 6, Miranda 2, Eufemiano 2, Angala 2, Nieves 0, Fetalvero 0, Perez 0.

Quarter scores: 27-20, 52-39, 62-50, 83-64



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