MANDALUYONG CITY – Centro Escolar University recaptured the championship of the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) Juniors Division by dethroning defending champion Saint Clare College of Caloocan in overtime, 73-66, Monday (October 5) at the Rizal Technological University Gym. The Junior Scorpions thus claimed the best-of-three series, 2-1, for their fourth trophy in the last five seasons.
Orlan Wamar and Mishaal Veron delivered the crucial shots in the overtime with both players accounting for five markers each. The CEU defense also went to work and limited the Junior Saints to only three free throws courtesy of Ramil Tero.
Kurt Trangia soared for an open layup to tie the game at 63-63 at the 35-second mark of regulation. From there both sides traded misses with Tero bungling the potential championship-winning running triple at the buzzer to set the stage for the extra five minutes.
Wamar finished with 15 points and three assists, enough for him to earn the Rookie of the Year award. Moh Sayed Ascano and Trangia followed with 11 points each.
For his consistent play throughout the tournament, CEU’s Paul Galinato was named as the Most Valuable Player. Joining him in the Mythical Five is teammate Allan Malubay, Tero and Perez of Saint Clare and Erwin Bargola of Our Lady of Fatima.
Ramil Tero carried the fight for Saint Clare with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Macky Perez supported him with 21 points.
The Junior Scorpions swept their five elimination round games to earn an automatic spot in the finals. They easily took Game One, 64-54, but the Juniors Saints denied them a perfect season by winning Game Two by a hairline, 72-71, to set the stage for Game Three.
The rest of the champion team are Rich Guinitaran, Gab Alvendia, Judel Fuentes, Kenneth Sumalacay, Christian Uri, Jordan Intic, CJ Pamaran, Jan Louis Baconcon and team captain Yves Dizon. Coach Yong Garcia also took home his fourth Best Coach award after a three-peat from 2011 to 2013.
The 15th NAASCU basketball tournament is now formally closed with CEU winning the titles in all three divisions. Both the Seniors and Women’s teams concluded their undefeated seasons last Saturday by disposing of Saint Clare and RTU respectively.
The league will now start preparations for the second semester events. First up is the much-awaited Cheerleading Competition penciled in for the first week of December. Other disciplines to be contested are Volleyball, Athletics, Swimming, Badminton, Chess, Street Dance, Taekwondo and Table Tennis.
How They Scored:
CENTRO ESCOLAR (73) – Wamar 15, Ascano 11, Trangia 11, Sumalacay 10, Veron 9, Galinato 7, Guinitaran 4, Alvendia 2, Intic 2, Dizon 2, Fuentes 0, Baconcon 0.
SAINT CLARE (66) – Tero 26, Perez 21, Santos 8, Fuentes 4, San Diego 4, Fongue 2, Padua 1, Galay 0, de los Reyes 0, Baltazar 0.
Period Scores: 17-17, 32-27, 49-49, 63-63 (reg.), 73-66 (OT).