St. Clare, De Ocampo advance

October 13, 2018

THE semis cast is now complete.

Defending champion St. Clare College and last year's runner-up De Ocampo Memorial College hurdled  their respective quarterfinal opponents to reach the semis in  the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities Athletic Association (NAASCU) Season 18  basketball tournament.

Group A  top seed St. Clare humbled Group A fifth placer Philippine Merchant Marine School,  82-64, while Group B leader De Ocampo routed Group A fourth placer Rizal Technological University, 85-70, to remain on collision course.

There  are  two  new semifinalists,  however.

Group B runner-up New Era University  outsteadied  Group A third  placer Our Lady of Fatima University, 67-65, to arrange a semis showdown against St. Clare.

Group A second placer Enderun Colleges  whipped Group B third  placer  St. Francis, 86-70, to set up a semis date with De Ocampo.

The best-of-three semis is scheduled on Tuesday at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig.

Except in the New Era-Fatima match, which was decided only in the closing seconds, all three quarterfinal games ended in routs.

Jeff Comia topscored for New Era with 18 points, including the game-changing three-point shot with 39 seconds left that put the Adonis Tierra-coached Hunters ahead for good, 64-62.

A breakaway layup by Sean Astoveza and a split from the free thriw line by Joshua Bringas  made  it 67-62  for New Era  before Paulo Evardo hit a  triple for  Fatima to finalize the score.

Awaiting  New Era is St. Clare,  the  hottest team in the league with eight straight victories, which included  a  seven-game sweep of Group A.

Junjie Hallare finished with double-double of 24 points and 16 rebounds  and Mohamed Pare added 11 points and 15 rebounds for the Saints, who are  gunning for an unprecedented  third  straight title under coach  Jino Manansala.

De  Ocampo leaned on holdovers   EJ Canelas  (17 points, nine rebounds) and  Jimmy  Schwartz (11 points) to eliminate RTU.

Philip Redondo, the hero in RTU’s 83-81 win over Philippine Christian University in the wildcard round, led the Blue Thunder with 14 markers.

Enderun  relied  on Valandre Chauca, who  topscored  with  28 points with six triples, and Mark Joseph Nunez, who added 16 points with three triples, to deny St. Francis.

Raoul Oduo and Enzo Toloso combined for 24 points for St. Francis,  which beat City University of Pasay in the wildcard.        The scores:

First game

St. Clare (82) -- Hallare  24, de Leon 12, Pare 11, Fontanilla 10, Fuentes 9, Santos 9, Palencia 3, Catura 2, Decano 2, Junsay 0.

PMMS (64) --Cabauatan 21, Hilario 11, Attas 10, Palomares 7, Briones 6, Capalad 5, Carvajal 2, Bautista 2, Carampatan 0, Inigo 0.

Quartecores: 16-15, 41-29, 65-45, 82-64.

Second game

De Ocampo (85) -- Canelas 17, Schwartz 11, Lescano 10, Manalang 9, Montojo 8, Sabasaje 7, de la Cruz 7, Pascual 6, Artesano 4, M Atabay 4, Reyes 2, Gallardo 0, Licardo 0, Ramos 0.

RTU (70)--Redondo 14, Reyes 13, Sienes 10, Flores 10, Laman 8, Guting 6, Casitas 6, Banaag 3, Flor 0, Ronquillo 0.

Quarterscores: 19-17, 47-34, 65-55, 85-70.