MANDALUYONG CITY – Defending champion Saint Clare College of Caloocan will face Centro Escolar University in a showdown with for the outright berth in Juniors Division Finals of the 15th National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) after both varsities won their games Tuesday (September 15) at the Rizal Technological University Gym. Toting similar 4-0 win-loss records, the two rivals will meet next Friday (September 18) at the same venue starting at 11:00 AM, the final day of the Juniors elimination round.
The Junior Saints of Coach JR Manansala leaned on the fourth period brilliance of Ramil Tero and Normel de los Reyes to tame the Our Lady of Fatima University Junior Phoenix, 71-52. On the other hand, the Scorpions of Coach Yong Garcia halted the RTU Junior Thunder in a fight-marred contest, 88-71.
Tero and de los Reyes banged in nine points each as Saint Clare outscored Fatima in the final canto, 24-14, to turn the close game into a runaway. The hot-shooting duo eventually finished with 20 points apiece.
In the CEU-RTU tussle, tempers flared at the buzzers of both halftime and at the endgame with timely intervention by referees and NAASCU officials preventing the situation from further escalating. Deputy Commissioner Anthony Roque will announce the list of sanctions before the next game.
Paul Galinato, whose father Abe Galinato played professionally for the MBA’s Surigao Warriors in 2000, paced the Junior Scorpions with 18 points. Rich Guinitaran and Kurt Trangia followed with 12 and 10 points respectively.
The New Era University Junior Hunters kept their playoff hopes alive by trouncing Philippine Christian University Baby Dolphins, 59-56. NEU’s Elmer Padlan sank the game’s final free throw off a Lauren Manalo foul and Alec Abrigo’s desperation triple at the buzzer went nowhere.
Jeff Comia paced the Junior Hunters of Coach Ariel Lladones with 18 points. Angelo Samonte was next with 10 as they earned their first win of the season after three losses.
With either the Junior Saints or Junior Scorpions poised to register a five-game sweep, the second finals berth will be determined by a stepladder playoff beginning with a knockout game between the third and fourth seed. The winner will go on to meet the second seed in a twice-to-beat series with the winner meeting the undefeated top seed in a best-of-three championship series.
Meanwhile in the Women’s Division, the quality and not the quantity of players was the key as defending champion CEU and RTU kept their immaculate slates and remained on course for a rematch of last year’s finals. The Lady Scorpions’ nine-player squad ran roughshod over NEU, 101-22, while the Lady Thunder reported with six players but it hardly mattered as they downed the OLFU Lady Phoenix, 65-50.
Rookie Arlain Galgo actually outscored the entire NEU team by herself by pouring in 23 points as the wards of Coach Jay Cambarihan chalked up their third straight win. CEU already had 32 after the first period with Galgo combining well with fellow starters Janine Pontejos, Divine Lacson, Tin Caranto and Mercy Lawan for 22 points.
The Lady Thunder and Coach Julian Bagares were in Zamboanga City for a series of games. “We just sent the rookies and the younger players,” explained team consultant Coach Arlene Rodriguez.
Rogelyn Inoferio scored nine of her 16 points in RTU’s fourth period blitz where they outscored the Lady Phoenix, 20-11. Angelica Jaberto was the high scorer for the Lady Thunder with 18 points while lone substitute Lourdes Pocallan chipped in 10.
How They Scored:
First Game (Women)
CENTRO ESCOLAR (101) – Galgo 23, Pontejos 16, Lacson 14, Ventura 13, Lawan 9, Caranto 9, Solis 6, Doloque 6, Matos 5.
NEW ERA (22) – Cabag 7, Picar 6, Bocbocila 5, Cruz 3, Cabag 1, Guiang 0, Dayag 0, Ricacho 0, Repato 0, Riyo 0.
Period Scores: 32-7, 59-10, 83-16, 101-22.
Second Game (Women)
RIZAL TECH (65) – Jaberto 18, Inoferio 16, Pocallan 10, Duazo 7, Santos 8, Ayhon 6.
OUR LADY OF FATIMA (50) – Buenamente 18, Quitomo 9, Bentic 8, Tuazon 6, Evangelio 3, Servillon 4, Escotido 2, Gamboa 0, Manahan 0.
Period Scores: 20-9, 35-27, 45-39, 65-50.
Third Game (Juniors)
NEW ERA (59) – Comia 14, Samonte 10, Reyes 8, Astoveza 6, Malicdem 5, de Guzman 4, Padlan 4, Udjan 4, Abarro 3, Sagisi 1, Sioson 0, Neri 0.
PHILIPPINE CHRISTIAN (56) – Jacinto 18, Bayotas 13, Ocampo 10, Abrigo 7, Manalo 5, Lim 2, R. Medina 1, Sienes 0, Nacino 0.
Period Scores: 15-10, 26-22, 39-33, 59-56.
Fourth Game (Juniors)
SAINT CLARE (71) – Tero 20, de los Reyes 20, Fongue 10, San Diego 6, Perez 4, Fuentes 4, Galay 3, Padua 2, Santos 1, Principe 1, Laurente 0.
OUR LADY OF FATIMA (52) – Bargola 15, Panganiban 9, Geraldo 6, Alade 6, Lumbera 5, Japzon 4, Bueno 3, Lansang 2, Canilao 2, Rapsing 0, Dalupang 0, Abila 2, Legaspi 0, Soguilon 0.
Period Scores: 14-14, 32-28, 47-38, 71-52.
Fifth Game (Juniors)
CENTRO ESCOLAR (88) – Galinato 18, Guinitaran 12, Trangia 10, Malubay 9, Ascano 7, Alvendia 7, Fuentes 7, Wamar 6, Veron 6, Uri 3, Intic 3, Sumalacay 0, Dizon 0.
RIZAL TECH (71) – Haboc 10, Jacinto 9, Adorable 8, Tadena 8, Grande 8, Guting 8, Boholano 7, Monghit 6, Liquinan 4, Lutia 3, Ong 0, Bacatan 0.
Period Scores: 18-16, 39-30, 60-56, 88-71.