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UAAP Women's Hoops Rundown: NU, Ateneo lead opening day winners

Jack Animam and NU are now 49-0 after opening their season with a close shave against UE.
By Kevin Estrada

MANILA--The women's basketball tournament of UAAP Season 80 kicked off Sunday with defending three-peat queens NU, Ateneo, UST and FEU winning their opening assignments in two arenas on a simultaneous tip-offs.

Over at the Blue Eagle Gym, the Lady Bulldogs of coach Patrick Aquino got their quest for a fourth straight crown started in a hard way as they survive a late UE scare in overtime, 69-66 early in the morning.

Rhena Itesi and Perlas standout Jack Animam shared top-scoring honors with 14 points apiece and also registered double-doubles for NU, collaring 11 and 15 rebounds respectively.

Half of Animan's production came in the extra five minutes.

Ruthlane Tacula instigated the fourth quarter assault of the Amazons, with half of her game-high 26 points came in the payoff period to take the champions to overtime, where they came up short.

Ateneo also came up victorious on their own floor, downing Adamson in a 61-58 nailbiter.
Jolina Go's superb stint was vital for Ateneo to win their opener against Adamson.
Jolina Go paced the Lady Eagles with a game-best 19 markers as they also nearly blew a 13-point advantage midway in the second half but came to their senses in time to win on their opener.

Melissa Newsome and Tina Deacon put up monster numbers off the glass after pulling 12 and 10 boards respectively with the former helping Go in the scoring end with 10 markers of her own for a double-double.

Jamie Alcoy's 17 markers went down the drain for the former six-time UAAP queens, who had Kristine Camacho as the only other Lady Falcon who scored in double digits.

Over at the MOA Arena, UST mauled UP with a fourth-quarter breakaway for an 85-58 beatdown with Jem Angeles leading the way with 24 points.

It was an all-around domination by the Tigresses, who pulled away in the fourth to turn a 10-point lead into a 27-point blowout at the buzzer, limiting the Lady Maroons to just 10 points in the final canto.

Season hosts FEU also opened their season on a high note, downing last year's runner-up La Salle in a 70-62 win.

Isabel Balleser poured in 16 points for the Lady Tams who pulled away in the middle quarters and established leads of as high as 16 points.

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada