MANILA, Philippines – The fabled winning streak may have ended but the epic championship run of National University continues.
The Lady Bulldogs asserted their dominance over the La Salle Lady Archers, 76-64, in Game 2 to sweep the UAAP Season 85 women’s basketball finals and collect their seventh straight title on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
NU won the two games with a whopping 22-point average after taking Game 1 with a 93-61 rout.
The Lady Bulldogs’ latest title romp tied the University of the East men’s team for most consecutive championships, a record set starting in 1965, from Seasons 28 to 34. The Red Warriors were co-champions with University of Santo Tomas in Season 30.
“The credit goes to all our girls. From Day 1 they committed. I’m glad each and every one of us did our share and we won,” said first-year NU head coach Aris Dimaunahan.
Ameng Torres was on fire to start the match with 9 straight points to trail by just 3 early, 9-12, but Lady Bulldogs Tin Cayabyab, Angel Surada, and Mikka Cacho joined hands to stretch their lead to 16 at the end of the first, 27-11.
And that was all NU needed to break away and deny all the Lady Archers’ attempts to claw back in the game.
Rookie Tin Cayabyab was hailed Finals MVP after averaging 12.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals, and 1.5 assists in the series including 18 points and 5 rebounds in the clincher.
“Isa sa hindi ko makakalimutan na nangyari this season is yung natalo kami against La Salle. Doon kami mas nagtulungan para makuha itong championship na ito. Mas naging together kami,” said Cayabyab of the Lady Bulldogs, who saw their historic streak end at 108 games at the hands of the Lady Archers during the elimination round lat November.
(One thing I can’t forget this season was when we lost against La Salle. Since then we really worked together to win this championship.)
It was a fitting end to Cacho and Annick Edimo Tiky’s run with the Lady Bulldogs.
Surada had 10 points and 9 rebounds, while Edimo Tiky got 9 points.
Meanwhile, Ameng Torres, Joehanna Arciga, Rossini Espinas, and Fina Niantcho Tchuido played their final game for the Lady Archers.
Torres gave it all with 29 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists but committed 11 turnovers.
Niantcho Tchuido produced 13 points, 22 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocks.
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.
La Salle 64 – Torres 29, Niantcho Tchuido 13, Arciga 8, Sario 7, Binaohan 5, De La Paz 2, Jimenez 2, Ahmed 2.
Quarters: 27-11, 42-27, 61-40, 76-64.
UST’S Eka Soriano bags MVP
Eka Soriano of University of Santo Tomas captured the Most Valuable Player of the UAAP Season 85 women’s basketball tournament on Sunday, December 11 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The second-year Growling Tigress ran away with the top individual honors after amassing 92.286 statistical points (SPs).
Soriano tallied all-around averages of 14.36 points, 6.29 rebounds, 7.14 assists, and 3.71 steals in the elimination round, where the season awards are based.
“I feel proud because I didn’t expect it, this is a bonus for me” Soriano said in Filipino
The Tigress guard made it three in a row for UST after Grace Irebu, who also won the the top individual award in 2018 and 2019 before the pandemic shuttered league for two seasons.
Trailing Soriano was Ateneo freshman Kacey dela Rosa, who captured the Rookie of the Year.
The Blue Eagles center averaged a dominant line of 16.42 points, 14.08 rebounds, and 3.08 blocks.
Soriano and Dela Rosa also led the Mythical Team that included Ateneo’s Jhazmin Joson, UST’s Tacky Tacatac, and Adamson’s Victoria Adeshina.
Joson did it all for the Blue Eagles with 11.21 points, 7.0 assists, 6.79 rebounds, and 1.86 steals, while Tacatac was a scoring machine for the Growling Tigresses norming 15.21 points, 4.86 rebounds, 3.29 assists, and 2.71 steals.
Adeshina, the Lady Falcons’ foreign student-athlete, made 13.71 points, 11.57 rebounds, and 2.36 steals.