Camille Clarin (right) hopes that her fellow Lady Bulldogs learn from their recent close encounter with the Tigresses.—photo courtesy of UAAP MEDIA

Camille Clarin (right) hopes that her fellow Lady Bulldogs learn from their recent close encounter with the Tigresses.—photo courtesy of UAAP MEDIA

Beyond the spotlight expected to shine on the stars of the men’s competition, National University (NU) stands on the precipice of history yet again.

Already owners of local basketball’s longest winning streak, the NU Lady Bulldogs hope to peg their run into a round, milestone number: 100.


But even as greatness beckons, NU coach Aris Dimaunahan is exercising utmost caution as NU battles the University of the Philippines (UP) in the UAAP Season 85 women’s basketball tournament.

“We cannot overlook any teams,” said Dimaunahan, NU’s new coach who inherited the reins of the historic squad just this season and has chipped in just three wins to a streak that currently stands at 99 games.


Coach Pat Aquino, who has decided to focus on the women’s national program of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, steered NU to the first 96 victories.

“You have to respect the game. And you have to respect the opponents whoever may that be,” Dimaunahan added.

Already, NU got a warning that things won’t be as easy as its first two games, which the Lady Bulldogs won by an average of 60.5 points per game. But they had to grind out a narrow escape last Sunday, when NU had to dig deep just to put away a resilient University of Santo Tomas (UST) side, 78-75.

“I think it’s definitely an eye-opener for us. At least we got it really early in the season,” said Camille Clarin, who is now leading this new crop of Lady Bulldogs, which currently has nine rookies.

“Having blowout games all the time doesn’t really help you grow as a team, so we definitely needed this to get better,” she added.

The Lady Maroons intend to make the Lady Bulldogs work just as hard at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, at UST’s Quadricentennial Pavilion.

“Obviously, we want to break that record,” UP coach Paul Ramos said. “We are not going to enter the court celebrating for them.”


UP annexed a second straight win with a 73-56 rout of Far Eastern University (FEU) last Saturday and isn’t fazed by the current 99-win run of NU.

“For us, there’s always a first time,” he said. “We will try our best to improve and get better during that game. And if we put ourselves in an opportunity to win, we’ll get it.”

Meanwhile, about 12 kilometers from UST, the UP men’s team hopes to continue rolling when it battles the NU Bulldogs at Mall of Asia Arena also on Wednesday.

“It’s still a long way to go, but we have to work on making this team solid in terms of consistency,’’ said Carl Tamayo after the unbeaten Fighting Maroons recently picked up their third straight win at the expense of the FEU Tamaraws.

“We have to work on being consistent in all four quarters. This is what coach (Goldwyn Monteverde) wants. To be able to start strong and consistently maintain it,’’ said UP assistant coach Christian Luanzon.

The situation is reversed in the men’s tournament where it will be NU hoping to halt UP’s streak, which currently stands at a far humbler three games.—WITH A REPORT FROM JUNE NAVARRO

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