St. Clare a win away from title

October 25, 2018

DEFENDING champion Saint Clare College- Caloocan is one win away from an unprecedented third straight NAASCU title.

St. Clare flaunted its might from  start to finish to bring down first-time finalist Enderun Colleges, 81-67, and move within a win of capturing the title at the Pasig Sports Center.

The  “Fearsome Foursome” of Junjie Hallare,  Joshua Fontanilla, Irven  Palencia and Mohamed  Pare  provided the spark for the Saints as they combined for 65 points despite the Titans' best effort on the defensive end.

“Thank God for another victory. Congratulations to our players, who did a real good job,” said St. Clare coach  Jiniño Manansala, who is also gunning fourth NAASCU title in seven years.

“Isang panalo na lang para sa kampeonato,” added Manansala, son  of former PBA Rookie of the Year Jimmy Manansala who is currently tied for second place with Egay Macaraya of Centro Escolar University for most titles won in the league with three apiece.

St. Clare can wrap up its third straight title when the two teams clash again in Game 2 of the scheduled best-of-three series on Friday (Oct. 26)  at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

Game 3, if  necessary, is  scheduled  on Monday,  Oct.29, at a still undetrmined venue.

Hallare  finished  with 24 points on 12-of-22 shooting and added six rebounds, Fontanilla contributed 17 points and eight rebounds, and Pare had monster numbers of 11 points,  22 rebounds and five blocks.

Defense also  proved to be asset of the Saints, who put the clamps on  Enderun  gunner Brando  Chauca,  who was limited to only 19 points on a horrendoys 4-of-8 shooting  by the taller Ray Rubio and Joseph Penaredondo.

Chauca made 15 triples in Enderun's two-game sweep over last year's finalist De Ocampo Memorial during their semifinal encounter.

Joaqui Mariano was the only other player with double figures for Enderun with 10 markers.

Led by Pare, the Saints also crashed the boards to gain 57-40 advantage in rebounds against the Titans.

It was  a  double celebration for St. Clare, which also defeated defendng champion Our Lady Fatima University, 89-51,  to take the opener in the junior division.

Stephen Catacutan led the way for the Baby  Saints with 19 points, 11 rebounds and two assists.

John Evert Dayrit added 17 points and four rebounds and Nathaniel Lopez also contributed with 15 points and six rebounds.

Nikko Polo Panganiban finished with 10 points and six rebounds and Vince Nico Alejandro had eight points and four rebounds for the Baby Phoenix

The scores

First game

Juniors division

St. Clare (89 )--  Catacutan 19, Dayrit 17, Lopez 15, Green 7, Victoriano 6, Mwamba 6, Cañares 6, Trajico 4, Estrada 3, Nieva 3, Nieles 2, Balallo 1, Falo 0

Fatima (51) -- Panganiban 10, Alejandro 8, Gomez 6, Vinluan 5, Regalado 4, Bernos 4, Layug 4, Valiente 4, Penafiel 2, Pascual 2, Compas 1, De Jelo 1, Castillo 0

Quarterscores: 22-8, 53-26, 69-36, 89-51

Second game

Seniors division

St. Clare College (81) -- Hallare 24, Fontanilla 17, Palencia 13, Pare 11, De Leon 8, Santos 3, Catura 2, Fuentes 2, Junsay 1, Rubio 0

Enderun College (67) --  Chauca 19, Mariano 10, Maagdenberg 9, Sacundo 8, Dungan 8, Gatdula 6, Oebanda 6, Nuñez 1, Dela Cruz 0.

Quarterscores: 21-18, 41-33, 64-48, 81-67.