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Lady Bulldogs eye 'new story', enter unfamiliar territory with rubber match vs Tigresses for crown

MANILA, Philippines – The National University Lady Bulldogs have faced more adversity than they would’ve liked, in their journey to their eighth straight title in the UAAP women’s basketball tournament.

After establishing themselves as one of the most successful dynasties in collegiate sports with their seven straight championships, challengers to their throne have become more apparent.

Going into last season, the Lady Bulldogs were undefeated in six UAAP seasons. They also held a 108-game winning streak at one point. But when the DLSU Lady Archers snapped that historic streak in their second round encounter, the cracks started to show in NU’s armor.

More importantly, the Lady Bulldogs were pushed against the wall in their ongoing finals series against the UST Growling Tigresses, when their foes scored an overtime stunner in Game 1; and even in Game 2 – where NU survived to force a rubber match – their reign was far from secure at any point in the ball game.

But NU veteran Camille Clarin remains unbothered. 

Instead of looking at the situation as the Lady Bulldogs faltering in their mission, she believes it is a chance to do something different this time. 

“I think that the story of this team is something completely different from the last seven championships. No one has really gotten to this point where we were down first in the series, except for way back when half of us weren’t even in college or high school yet,” Clarin said after their Game 2 win over UST last Sunday. 

“And I think that, with the support of our coaches who have been there, our alumni who have been there, who have been helping us, it’s just another chance to write a new story. We have the experience, we know what it feels like to win a championship and I think that knowing what’s at stake, brings out the best in our team.” she added.

Clarin is no stranger to winning championships, having been part of the team in their title runs in UAAP Season 82 and Season 85. 

Though the road may look a little different for the Sampaloc-based squad this time, she’s confident that she and her teammates still know the way.

After all, this is somewhere they’ve all been before.

“Playing in Game 3 is definitely