8 a.m. -- New Era vs. St. Clare
9:30 a.m. -- De Ocampo vs. Enderun
DEFENDING champion St. Clare College and Enderun Colleges seek decisive victories against New Era University and De Ocampo Memorial College today to arrange a title showdown in the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) Season 18 basketball tournament at the RTU gym in Mandaluyong City.
The Saints and the Titans need only to win over the Hunters and the Cobras to finish off their scheduled best-of-three semifinal matches and advance to the finals.
St. Clare leaned on the deadly trio of Mohamed Pare, Irven Palencia and Junjie Hallare to bring down New Era University, 87-80, while Enderun rode on the hot hands of Brandon Chauca to surprise last year’s runner-up De Ocampo Memorial College, 105-86, last Thursday.
But the Hunters, who are making their first semifinal appearance since 2006, and the Cobras, losing finalist to the Saints last year, hope to avenge their previous losses and extend the series to a deciding third game next week.
Last Thursday, Pare asserted his might on both ends of the floor and finished with 17 points and 16 rebounds to power the Caloocan City-based Saints of NAASCU founding president Dr. Ernesto Jay Adalem and coach Jino Manansala to victory.
Palencia added 16 points, six assists and three rebounds and Hallare contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds in St. Clare’s ninth straight win dating back to the eliminations.
Jefferson Comia, the hero in New Era’s 67-65 win over 2016 runner-up Out Lady of Fatima University in the quarterfinals, had 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists in a losing cause.
Enderun, on the other hand, leaned on Chauca’s 35 points on 11-of-21 shooting, eight assists and three rebounds.
Igi Boy Sabasaje led the way for Ronnie Dojillo-mentored Cobras with 27 points, five rebounds and two assists.
In the junior division, defending champion Our Lady of Fatima and St. Clare will begin their own best-of-three title series on Monday, Oct. 22 also at teh RTU gym.
Fatima relied on Gervin Compas’ game-winning basket as time expired to beat Arandia College, 104-102, in overtime while St.Clare leaned on big games of Stephen Catacutan and Cedrick Mwamba to subdue AMA University, 75-69, to set the stage for the rematch.
Enderun and Rizal Technological University clash in another best-of-three showdown in the women's division.