MANILA, Philippines -- The De La Salle Lady Archers used a huge third quarter run to power past the National University Lady Bulldogs, 69-61, in Game 3 to clinch the UAAP Season 76 women's basketball crown Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Leading by just one point, 30-29, at the half, La Salle out-scored NU, 23-11, in the third frame to take control of the contest.
Ara Abaca scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half, including six in the final period, as the Lady Archers held off a last-ditch rally by the Lady Bulldogs.
"I'm really emotional about this. It's been 11 years, and we were able to get and it feels really great," said La Salle head coach Tyrone Bautista. "I can't really explain it right now. It has yet to sink in, actually."
"But more than anything I'm happier for our players, because I know the work that they put in and the sacrifices that they put in to be where we are right now," he added.
Trisha Piatos scored 15 and Inna Corcuera added 10 points in 10 minutes of action for La Salle, who held NU to only 29.2% shooting from the field.
To make matters worse for NU, they converted only 17 of their 30 free throw attempts. Risa Paig topscored for the Lady Bulldogs with 21 points.
Piatos was named the Finals Most Valuable Player after averaging 14.7 points, 5 rebounds, two assists and 2.3 steals per game in the best-of-three series.
La Salle took Game 1, 72-48, but NU forced a do-or-die game after winning Game 2, 67-52.
DLSU 69 - Abaca 16, Piatos 15, Corcuera 10, Ong A. 8, Santos 5, Claro 5, Melendres 4, Ramos 2, Ong M. 2, Garcia 2.
NU 61 - Paig 21, Bernardino 16, Abriam 7, Tongco 6, Gupilan 6, Bonleon 4, Escoto 1, Sison 0, Seno 0, Antiquiera 0.
Quarter-scores: 15-13, 30-29, 53-40, 69-61.