Lady Bulldogs notch No. 99

National University hung tough before watching University of Santo Tomas miss a potential game-tying three-pointer to eke out a 78-75 victory and preserve its flawless record in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 women’s basketball tournament Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Lady Bulldogs overcame the late uprising of the Tigresses to notch their third straight win of the season and record their 99th victory in a row dating back to 2014.

Meanwhile, De La Salle University took down archrival Ateneo de Manila University, 75-67, to forge a tie with University of the Philippines and UST at the second spot with a 2-1 win-loss record.

Lee Sario finished with 19 points, 11 in the payoff period, to go with 11 rebounds, while Fina Niantcho added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Lady Archers.

The Blue Eagles slid to 1-2 along with Far Eastern University and Adamson University.

Nikki Villasin put UST within four, 70-74, after swishing in triple that capped an 8-1 run with 36.1 seconds left.

Aloha Betanio’s split at the foul line gave Lady Bulldogs some breathing room before Eka Soriano slashed it to 72-75 from two charities with 25.3 ticks to go.

Camille Clarin then nailed two free throws for NU only to allow UST’s Tacky Tacatac to nail a huge trey with 10.7 seconds left.

Lady Bulldogs’ Angel Surada made her first free throw in the next play but missed his second that gave UST one last try to equalize.

Unfortunately for the Tigresses, Joylyn Pangilinan missed her long-distance heave at the buzzer that allowed the NU to complete the great escape.

“I thought UST came in with a lot of fight today. They gave us a hard time. But again, credit to my girls for staying in the game and eventually winning the game,” Lady Bulldogs coach Aris Dimaunahan said.

Ann Pingol delivered 14 points, nine in the first half, while Clarin chipped in 13 points and six assists for NU, which tasted its last defeat on 5 October 2013 in Game 3 of Season 76 Finals against De La Salle University.

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