NATIONAL University handed De La Salle University a 54-point whipping yesterday, scoring a 112-58 victory in the UAAP Season 82 women’s basketball tournament at the University of Santo Tomas Pavilion.
NU’s frontline took charge in the wire-to-wire win, with Rhena Itesi leading the way with 20 points, 19 rebounds, and a block while reigning MVP Jack Animam added 18 points and 13 boards.
Knowing the Lady Archers are one of the contenders to watch in their bid for a sixth straight crown, NU head coach Patrick Aquino told his team to start aggressively.
“I told the girls to play hard. We’ve been coming off the start very slow. I just want us to be consistent with everything – to start strong and finish stronger,” Aquino said.
Camille Clarin set the tone in the first half, scoring 11 of her 19 points. Kaye Pingol and Kelli Hayes produced 14 and 11 markers, respectively.
La Salle tried to mount a third-quarter fightback but there was no stopping the Lady Bulldogs from scoring their 83rd consecutive victory.
Chuchi Paraiso and rookie Kent Pastrana paced the Lady Archers with 14 and 11 points.
La Salle slipped to 1-2.
In the other game, Grace Irebu unloaded 33 points as University of Santo Tomas went unbeaten in three games with a 91-73 blasting of Ateneo at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Irebu, last year’s MVP was unmatched down low as she went 12-of-20 from the field while grabbing 13 rebounds and two blocks to keep the Espana side at the top of the standings at 3-0.