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NU gets back at Army, keeps crown

National University got back at Army in a special way as the Lady Bulldogs outlasted the Lady Troopers in a low-scoring game, 52-46, to retain their title in the PCABL 7th Dickies Women’s Basketball Tournament held over the weekend at the Buddhacare gym in Quezon City.

In a battle between two of the country’s fittest teams, the Lady Bulldogs proved steadier as they made clutch baskets down the stretch to win the annual preseason tournament for the second straight year against a team that handed them their long defeat.

NU’s title win could well serve as a warning to its UAAP rivals as the Lady Bulldogs intend to extend their reign in the premier collegiate league to five years.

And like its impressive 85-69 win over Air Force in the semis last Saturday, the team backed by Ever Bilena’s big boss Dioceldo Sy got another big game from Rhena Itesi to get the job done.

Itesi scored 16 points and grabbed 14 boards, six of them offensively. She also had three blocks as she used her height advantage to sow terror inside the paint.

Six other NU players scored four points or more that typified NU’s well-balanced offensive in the event also backed by EuroMed, Multimotors Auto Parts, CW Home Depot, Choi Garden Restaurant and Blackwater.

NU coach Pat Aquino also pointed to the team’s air-tight for the win, saying: “We made stops when we needed them most.”

NU’s defensive strategy was so effective that the usually high scoring Jhanine Pontejos was held to just 16 points on 7-of-15 shooting.