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Bulldogs take tigresses to the limit


Stefanie Berberabe (No. 10) and the rest of the Bulldogs are ahead of the Tigresses. —AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Facing the biggest threat to the UAAP women’s basketball throne it has sat on in years, Nationwide University (NU) dug as deep as it could and barely maintained its attempt to keep the title alive in Season 86, thanks in large part to the University of Santo Tomas (UST). ) keeps making the same mistakes.

“We’re still alive,” Bulldogs coach Aries Dimaunahan said just after escaping the Tigresses, 72-70, Sunday at Sensible Araneta Coliseum. “We’ve always set a modest goal for our team every time, day in and day out, we step on the field, and the mindset today was just to stay alive.”

The quest for its eighth consecutive title took on new life with this scrappy victory, with the decision set for Wednesday against the hard-luck Tigresses who are seeking a first championship since 2006.

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Santo Tomas built an early nine-point lead but slowly crumbled, a recurring problem for the Tigresses in their recent matches. And a 10-0 run at Nationwide U gave the Bulldogs a 54-50 lead they could never relinquish.

Kent Pastrana had the opportunity to set up the game for Santo Tomas as he was in transition with 17.4 seconds remaining just for Gypsy Canuto to force the prolific Tigress to cede possession.

Pastrana had another chance to win it all for the Tigresses, only to miss a step-back hat-trick as he was chased down by Stefanie Berberabe that sealed UST’s fate.

“Our most important focus was what elements we wanted to execute in order to get the results we wanted. I’m proud that women are doing a great job today, turning the tide and playing for each other, no one leaves us. Although (UST) took the lead early, no one collapsed on us,” Dimaunahan said.

“It shows our character, we really wanted to live and fight another day and we got what we needed now, so it’s all the same,” he continued.

Karl Pingol helped the Bulldogs with his 14 points and five rebounds while Princess Fabruada contributed 13 points on 71.4 shooting.

But it was Camille Clarin who once again stood out for the Bulldogs, who lost a final game for the first time last Sunday, 76-72. She finished with 18 points and eight assists. INQ


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