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NU goes 53-0 with a solid beatdown of FEU

NU Lady Bulldog's Ria Nabalan slashes her way through the towering defenses of the FEU Lady Tamaraws in their first round bout in the UAAP Season 80 Women's Basketball at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. 
By Kevin Estrada

QUEZON CITY -- National University continued its romp at the UAAP Women's basketball tilt this year, smothering FEU in a 71-48 thrashing Wednesday morning at the Araneta Coliseum.

It only took a fourth quarter breakaway by the defending three-peat titlists to fully dispatch the Lady Tamaraws, as Patrick Aquino's Lady Bulldogs to go 5-0, their 53rd consecutive win in the league since 2013.

Prior to the rout, FEU kept it close and even lead by as much as four, before NU took a five point lead at the end of the first, and it stayed at single digits with a nine point edge at half time.

After finally breaking the double digit barrier with a 53-42 lead, NU clamped down on FEU by limiting them to just 6 points in the final frame.

Ria Nabalan lead the way for NU with 15 points, followed by their twin towers of Rhena Itesi and Jack Danielle Animan with 14 and 11 respectively.

Itesi and Animam alone had out-rebounded the entire Lady Tamaraws, combining for 37 of the 53 NU boards as opposed to 36 by the whole of FEU.

However, Aquino had sounded the alarm about their bad shooting day, in which they had only shot a measly 4/21 from beyond the arc.

"If we have an awful shooting night from the outside, it's not gonna be easy for us on the inside," lamented Aquino.

However he credited their victims for keeping it close in the first half, taking advantage of their poor shooting.

"FEU actually played well," Aquino added. "In the second half, we countered by playing defense," he further said.

The Scores:

NU 71 -- Nabalan 15, Itesi 14, Animam 11, Sison 10, Antiquiera 8, Harada 7, Ano-os 2, del Carmen 2, Cacho 2

FEU 48 -- Arellado 15, Mamaril 9, Gerner 8, Quiapo 4, Ouano 3, Taguiam 3, Balleser 2, Bastasas 2, Jumuad 2

Quarter scores: 23-18, 38-29, 53-42, 71-48

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada