by Waylon Galvez
The National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs have completed their magical UAAP season with another record.
Already the owners for consecutive wins in league history, NU bagged a record fifth straight women’s title as it downed Far Eastern University (FEU) 67-61 yesterday in Game 2 of the finals in the 81st UAAP basketball at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
NU’s win extended its record to 80-0 and gave the Lady Bulldogs title No. 5 to match the feat achieved by the Ateneo Blue Eagles in men’s basketball from Season 71 to 75 (2008-2012).
With five straight titles, NU now owns the record after previously sharing it with the Lady Tamaraws (1950-53), University of the Philippines Lady Maroons (1980-83), University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigresses (1987-90) and De La Salle Lady Archers (1999-02).
“Wow! Amazing,” said NU mentor Pat Aquino.
“What a wonderful game and I’d like to thank these girls, the NU community that came out, everybody who has been there for us. Without everybody, winning a fifth championship and 80 straight wins are amazing and I’m just happy to be part of it and I hope we can continue,” added Aquino, who share with former Ateneo coach Norman Black the second-most consecutive championships for a coach in the UAAP.
Ria Nabalan ended her UAAP career on a winning note as she became the only student-athlete to go undefeated, having been part of NU’s unbeaten streak that began on July 13, 2014 — a 62-46 win over the Adamson Lady Falcons.
Nabalan joined hands with Jack Animam in a big defensive effort in the second quarter run as NU held FEU to just nine points that turned an 18-16 lead to 41-25 at the halftime break.
Animam was named Finals Most Valuable Player with 15 points, 21 rebounds, four blocks, two assists, and a steal for series averages of 17.0 points, 15.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 3.0 steals, and 1.5 blocks.
“I’m just so happy. Every year there are different struggles and every championship, we have stories to tell. I’m on cloud nine. As the coach said, ‘amazing,’” said Animam.
Tags: Adamson Lady Falcons, Ateneo Blue Eagles, De La Salle Lady Archers, Jack Animam, Lady Bulldogs, Lady Tamaraws, Pat Aquino, UAAP, UAAP basketball, University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigresses, University of the Philippines Lady Maroons