FOUR IN A ROW | NU still queens of UAAP after edging UE in a Game 2 comebacker

FOUR IN A ROW. National U remain as the queens of UAAP basketball. Michael Joseph Romero/Dugout Philippines
By Kevin Estrada

QUEZON CITY -- The title stays in Sampaloc.

In a way that was not in a typical fashion, National University have summoned their heart of a champion, bucking an early deficit to clinch their fourth straight UAAP Women's crown, disposing UE, 79-68 in Game 2 of the Finals Sunday afternoon at the Big Dome.

The Lady Bulldogs were in shock to see themselves behind early in the game, but came back in style in the final frame to fend off the Lady Warriors' bid to take them down for the first time since 2013 as they extend their winning run to 64 games.

Playing in their final game of their respective college careers, Trixie Antiquiera and Ruthlaine Tacula left their heart on the hardwood with a shootout for the ages.

Antiquiera signed off in style, firing 19 markers on a 6/9 shooting from beyond the arc as she also bagged with the finals MVP plum, hitting the lights out for a 65% clip from downtown overall.

Tacula led the spirited tryst of the Lady Warriors with a game-high 25 points with a 56% clip from the field.
Rhena Itesi exploded when it mattered the most for NU in the payoff frame. Michael Joseph Romero/Dugout Philippines
The game was tight in the first three periods, in which UE led by as much as twelve but settled for a three point lead as they try to become the first team since La Salle to defeat NU in the past four years.

However, the champions responded with a huge payoff frame, outscoring the Lady Warriors by a ratio of 2:1 to fend off the final hurdle to their four-peat, with Rhena Itesi and Janet Sison combined for 18 points in that quarter.

The Scores: 

NU 79 -- Antiquiera 19, Itesi 15, Nabalan 14, Animam 9, Sison 7, Harada 7, Del Carmen 6, Ano-os 2, Camelo 0, Cacho 0.

UE 68 -- Tacula 25, Chan 19, Francisco 6, Sto. Domingo 5, Requiron 5, Ramos 4, Cortizano 2, Gayacao 2.

Quarter scores: 13-16, 33-35, 51-54, 79-68.

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