PASAY CITY – Season host Saint Clare College of Caloocan opened the 16th National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) basketball tournament on a high note by taking down returning AMA University, 82-67, in front of a packed Cuneta Astrodome Thursday (August 25). The Saints controlled the contest from the opening tip, save for a pair of deadlocks early in the first period.
Forward Aris Dionisio came off the bench to submit a double-double of 19 points and 16 rebounds plus two assists and two blocks to earn Best Player honors. He was ably supported by fellow substitute Jordan Rios with 14 points and six rebounds as the Saints reserves outscored their Titans counterparts, 55-18.
Michael de Leon scored five of his 12 points in the first two offensive sequences of the game to jumpstart Saint Clare’s early charge. Mark Puspus added 10 points as he and the rest of the Saints frontline survived foul trouble throughout the contest.
In a team loaded with players with PBA D-League experience, a pair of newcomers stole the show for AMA with credible performances. Starters Daniel Salonga and Mike de Guzman chipped in 16 and 15 markers respectively to pace the Titans as the rest of the team struggled.
The Titans took a leave of absence after the 12th season concluded in 2013. However, they started their return to the NAASCU fold earlier this year by joining the volleyball tournaments as a guest entry.
How They Scored:
SAINT CLARE (82) – Dionisio 19, Rios 14, de Leon 12, Puspus 10, Managuelod 7, Palencia 6, Hallare 5, Rebugio 4, de Mesa 2, Santos 2, Perez 1, Fongue 0, Esguerra 0, Principe 0.
AMA (67) – Salonga 16, de Guzman 15, Macaranas 13, Jordan 10, Magpantay 6, Ortega 4, Calma 2, Fuentes 1, Dulnoan 0, Quijano 0.
Period Scores: 25-18, 45-39, 63-54, 82-67.