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:
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.
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.