MANILA, Philippines -- The National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs have now won 98 consecutive games, after an 89-52 demolition of Ateneo de Manila University on Wednesday at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.
Four players scored in double-digits for the Lady Bulldogs as they moved to 2-0 in the UAAP Season 85 women's basketball tournament.
A 26-9 first quarter set the tone for the six-time defending champions, and they went on to lead by as much as 42 points in the wire-to-wire win. Karl Pingol had 17 points, while Camille Clarin added 14 for the Lady Bulldogs.
"Every game is very important for us to have a strong start. Every team is gunning for us, they know what it requires to beat us. Right from the start, we have to take away their confidence," said Clarin, who added three rebounds, two steals, and an assist.
NU held Ateneo to just 4-of-12 shooting and forced them to commit nine turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the ball game.
The Lady Bulldogs' lead ballooned to 42 points, 89-47, after back-to-back three-pointers by Clarin with 1:42 to play.
"It's always hard to play a team with such great talent like Ateneo. They got Kacey (Dela Rosa), (Jhazmin) Joson, and LJ Miranda," said Lady Bulldogs head coach Aris Dimaunahan. "Give credit to our girls for playing hard right from the start. Even in the middle game, when Ateneo made a run, they still stayed together and did not veer away from the system."
Ateneo, who fell to 1-1, was led by Kacey Dela Rosa, who had 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting with 17 rebounds.
The rest of the Blue Eagles shot just 32.7-percent from the field. Moreover, they committed 30 turnovers that led to 24 NU points.
NU will next face University of Santo Tomas on Sunday.
"Both of us are coming off two wins. Whoever plays to their advantage will get the W. It will be a great test for us character-wise. Let's see what happens on Sunday," said Dimaunahan.
Meanwhile, Ateneo looks to bounce back at the expense of archrival De La Salle University on the same day.
NU 89 - Pingol 17, Clarin 14, Cacho 13, Tiky 13, Cayabyab 9, Betanio 6, Bartolo 6, Canuto 4, Fabruada 4, Surada 3, Dimaunahan 0, Villareal 0, Ico 0, Barroquillo 0, Talas 0, Solis 0.
Ateneo 52 - Dela Rosa 24, Miranda 9, Joson 4, Calago 4, Nieves 4, Fetalvero 2, Navarro 2, Villacruz 1, Gino-Gino 1, Makanjuola 1, Jajurie 0, Perez 0, Eufemiano 0, Angala 0.
Quarter scores: 26-9, 42-28, 60-41, 89-52