The DLSU Lady Archers downed the NU Lady Bulldogs in overtime, 61-57, to stain NU’s previously undefeated win-loss record and snap their historic 108-game win streak earlier today, November 23, at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion. This marks the Lady Bulldogs’ first loss since UAAP Season 76 back in 2014.
In the momentous victory, Fina Niantcho paced the Lady Archers with 14 points, 19 rebounds, and two steals while Charmine Torres put up an all-around performance with 13 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Lee Sario and Bettina Binaohan each contributed 10 points in the win.
In their first loss in over eight years, Mikka Cacho led the Lady Bulldogs with 12 points, 15 rebounds, and four assists. Angel Surada tallied 11 markers and nine rebounds while Camille Clarin and Kristine Cayabyab scored seven points each.
Sticking to the gameplan
Both sides started the game by trading baskets inside, keeping the contest even early at 6-6. The Lady Archers utilized tight defense and aggressive offensive rebounding to go on an 8-0 run and get ahead, 14-6. The Lady Bulldogs answered back with aggressive transition offense, ending the first period, 14-12.
The Taft-based squad maintained their composure in the second quarter, utilizing Binaohan’’s mastery at the mid-range to jump ahead, 23-14, midway through the quarter. NU answered with several well-timed transition plays and a Cayabyab three to pull closer, 24-21. Niantcho dominated the paint on both ends as her solid rebounding and scoring anchored her squad to a 32-25 lead at the half.
Battle of adjustments
The Lady Archers came out flat to start the second half, allowing the Lady Bulldogs to take the lead, 33-32. Cacho started to heat up, hitting her mid-range jumpers in the open minutes of the third quarter, which forced DLSU head coach Cholo Villuenva to call an early timeout with 5:36 left in the quarter. The swarming defense of NU paved the way for a comeback as they controlled the pace of the game. Despite their poor shooting, the team from Taft ended the quarter up top by a solidarity point off a pair of free throws from Luisa De La Paz, 37-36.
Camille Clarin opened the scoring in the fourth quarter with a wide open corner three to snatch the lead back for the team from Sampaloc, 39-37. The veteran point guard, Torres, stepped up for the Green and White, picking up the offensive workload for La Salle, scoring back-to-back jumpers to regain the lead, 41-40. After converting a free throw, NU called a timeout with 5:47.
The Lady Archers held their composure down the stretch. DLSU head coach fielded three point guards to counter the pressure from the NU backcourt. It worked wonders as La Salle controlled the end game but National University managed to send the game to overtime with a three that was reviewed to be counted, 49-49.
Sario broke the deadlock with a three pointer in overtime for La Salle, 52-49. De la Paz joined the scoring with a layup off a broken play, 54-49. Cacho hits a three in the other for NU to cut the lead of DLSU to two. 54-52. The defending champions would not go down without a fight, as Clarin drilled a clutch three pointer to cut the lead to two for NU, 57-55. It was answered back with a layup off an out of bounds play from Torres to Binaohan, 59-55. Sario sealed the win for the DLSU Lady Archer with a pair of clutch free throws, 61-57. The win ended the 108-game winning streak of the NU Lady Bulldogs.
DLSU head coach Villanueva expressed his pride for his squad stating, “My girls just wanted it more, they get all the credit today, they were making all the right decisions on offense, they were making all the right decisions on defense. All credit goes to my girls for one heck of a game.”
Villanueva emphasized his pride when talking about what it meant to snap the longest win streak in Philippine basketball. “It’s an achievement for us, for the school, [and for] the basketball program. We have been working on this for so long. We haven’t won against NU in such a long time,” he states.
After this stain on NU’s win-loss record, the UAAP Women’s Basketball tournament is set to have a seeded Final Four knockout rather than a stepladder format for the first time since UAAP Season 76. The DLSU Lady Archers look to gain momentum for their Final Four run as they wrap up their preliminary round against the UE Lady Warriors at 1:00 pm on November 26, Saturday at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.
DLSU 61 – Niantcho 14, Torres 13, Sario 10, Binaohan 10, De la Paz 7, Jimenez 5, Arciga 2, Ahmed 0.
NU 57 – Cacho 12, Surada 11, Cayabyab 7, Clarin 7, Edimo Tiky 6, Pingol 6, Canuto 3, Solis 3, Fabruada 2, Bartolo 0, Betanio 0.
Quarter Scores: 14-12, 32-25, 32-36, 49-49, 61-57