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St. Clare, AMA collide

  • Written by Ed Andaya
  • Published in Basketball
  • Read: 469

Games today:

(Cuneta Astrodome):

9 a.m. --  Opening ceremonies

10 a.m. -- St. Clare vs. AMA

11:30 a.m. -- CdSL vs. CUP

1 p.m. -- PMMS vs. Fatima

2:30  p.m. -- Lyceum-Subic vs. PCU

FORMER champions St. Clare College-Caloocan and AMA University will  clash in an early battle of favorites in the 16th NAASCU basketball tournament, which reels off today at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
The Saints, who bagged the title in 2012, and the Titans, who ruled the event in 2006, take the floor starting at 10 a.m.after a brief but colorful  opening ceremony at 9 a.m.
NAASCU chairman Ernesto  Jay Adalem of St.Clare will lead the opening  ceremony, along with commissioner Fritz Gaston         Other opening-day matches will pit  newcomer Colegio de San Lorenzo against City University of Pasay at 11:30 a.m.; Philippine  Merchant Marine School against Our Lady of Fatima University at  1 p.m.;  and    Philippine Christian University against  Lyceum of Subic at 4 p.m.
The  other six  member-teams -- Rizal  Technological University, Manuel Luis Quezon University, New Era University, De Ocampo Memorial College,  EARIST  and  Enderun Colleges -- drew opening-day byes.
On Friday  it will be MLQU against  De OCampo  at 8 a.m, RTU against New Era at 9:30 a.m. and  Enderun against  EARIST at 11 a.m. at  the JCSGO     gym in Cubao.
“With more teams, more events and wider coverage, we expect this year’s NAASCU competitions to be a lot more exciting,”  said Adalem.
St. Clare, which is being handled by coach Jinino Manansala, will be the team to beat  this year.
The Caloocan City-based Saints, wh o finished runner-up to Cen tro Escolar  University in the last three  years,  will parade a  near intact line-up bannered by 6-6  Cameronian  center Steve Fonguemm,  Mark Puspus, Aris Dionisio, Paeng Rebulio, Nico Principe and  Jordan Rios.
AMA, another strong title contender under chairman Dr. Amable R. Aguiluz V,  SVP Arneil Guibo and coach Mark Herrera,  will rely on Christian Macaranas, Jezer Calma, Miguel Magpantay, Jayson Jordan, Mike De Guzman, Jassn Dulnoan, Jerome Ortega,  Paul Carpio, Daniel Salonga,  Jason Riley Jr., Janz Pineda,  Alvin Fuentes, Clark Quijano, Marc Pippin and Troy Macaspac.
Herrera will be assisted by Benjie Diswe,  Bobby Andaya, Edwin Ancheta and Eugene Bautista.
PCU,  which underwent massive pre-season build-up that included a runner-up finish in the MBL Open during summer, will  also be a  big threat with  coach Ato Tolentino and his son Elvis at the helm.
MLQU, another multi-titled  team on the  comeback trail under coach Jimmy Manansala Jr., is the  tournament darkhorse.
Manansala, who is  best remembered for leading the St.Clare Baby Saints to the  NAASCU title in 2014, will lean on the service of  5-10 point guard Joshua Nicholas, 5-10  Jonathan Pastor, 6-0 slasher Mark Poole, 6-3 power forward Alex Junsay and 6-5 shot-blocking demon Aeron Decano.
Also with the  team  now being  supported by New San Jose Builders are Niko Jamila, Clyde Fabilla ,  Jeanard Hermoso, Amiel Decena, Joseph Lastimoa, John Paul Corpuz, Bader Castillo and John Paul Corpuz.
Only six schools have won a title in the league, established in 2001.
University of Manila is the winningest school in the NAASCU with seven titles, including five in a row from 2001 to 2005 under the tried and tested tandem of coach Loreto “Ato” Tolentino and manager Dr. Ernesto de los Santos.       
CEU is second with three championships  from 2012-2015, whiel San Sebastian College-Cavite, is third with two   titles in  2008 and 2009.
Winning one title each are AMA (2006), STI (2007) and St. Clare (2012).
                        Ed Andaya.