8 a.m. -- New Era vs. St. Clare
9:30 a.m. -- De Ocampo vs. Enderun
DEFENDING champion St. Clare College and Enderun Colleges pulled off contrasting victories over their respective rivals to move within a win of advancing to the finals of the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) Season 18 basketball tournament at the RTU gym in Mandaluyong.
St. Clare leaned on the deadly trio of Mohamed Pare, Irven Palencia and Junjie Hallare to bring down New Era University, 87-80, and keep its bid for an unprecedented third straight title alive.
Enderun rode on the hot hands of Brandon Chauca to surprise last year’s runner-up De Ocampo Memorial Colleges, 105-86, and boost its chances for its first-ever finals appearance.
Victories by both the Saints and the Titans in Game 2 of the scheduled best-of-three semifinal matches starting at 8 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday) will put them on collision course for the coveted title in this 18-year-old league..
The Hunters, who are making their first semifinal appearance since 2006, and the Cobras, losing finalist to the Saints last year, need a victory to send the series into a deciding third game next week.
Pare, the Saint’s’ own “Tower of Power”, asserted his might with 17 points and 16 rebounds despite the Hunters’ strong defense.
Palencia added 16 points, six assists and three rebounds and Hallare contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Caloocan City-based Saints of NAASCU founding president dr. Ernesto Jay Adalem and multi-titled coach Jino Manansala.
Jefferson Comia, the hero in New Era’s 67-65 overtime win over 2016 runner-up Our Lady of Fatima University in the quarterfinals, carried the fight with 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
Brandon Chauca was the top man for Enderun against De Ocampo.
Chauca came away with 35 points on 11-of-21 shooting, eight assists and three rebounds for the Titans, who broke away from a tight contest with a strong third-qaurter showing.
Enderun (105) --Chauca 35, Gatdula 15, Nuñez 14, Mariano 14, Dungan 7, Goethals 5, Sacundo 4, Dela Cruz 4, Oebanda 3, Maagdenberg 2, Veloso 2
DOMC (86) -- Sabasaje 27, Montojo 12, Manalang 11, Pascual 8, Atabay 8, Dela Cruz 5, Reyes 3, Schwartz 3, Ramos 2, Lescano 2, Gallardo 2, Artesano 2, Cañelas 1, Licardo 0
Quarterscores: 25-21, 53-43, 79-61, 105-86
St. Clare (87) -- Pare 17, Palencia 16, Hallare 11, Tecson 10, Rubio 8, Santos 8, Fontanilla 6, Peñaredondo 5, Catura 3, De Leon 3.
New Era ( 80)-- Comia 22, Marticio 13, Akindele 10, De Guzman 10, Reyes 10, Bringas 8, Castillo 4, Gabriel 3, Astoveza 0.
Quarterscores: 19-16, 39-38, 69-60, 87-80.