MANDALUYONG CITY – Saint Clare College of Caloocan continued their recovery by beginning a new winning streak after beating Lyceum of Subic Bay, 96-85, on the penultimate playing date of the 16th National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) elimination round at the Rizal Technological University Gym Sunday (September 25). The win puts the Saints in prime position to seize the top playoff seeding in their final game against also ran Colegio de San Lorenzo on Tuesday (September 27) at the same venue.
The Saints sought to settle the outcome early with graduating Senior Bong Managuelod finally breaking out of his scoring slump to scatter eight of his 10 points in the opening period as they raced to a 31-19 lead. The demolition job continued with an 11-0 bomb behind Jordan Rios and Paeng Rebugio that gave them their biggest lead of the game in the second period, 48-27.
The Sharks, with knowledge that no less than a win would hand them the top seed in the playoffs, staged a huge comeback in the third period behind Edsel Saludo, Armando Timpog, Allen Fomera and Carl Michael Lumbao to trail by a solitary point entering the fourth period, 66-67. However, the Saints regrouped behind the hot shooting of Rojay Santos to preserve the win.
Santos came off the bench to lead the Saints with 23 points seven triples, including 14 in the final period. Rebugio finished with 20 and Rios followed with 18 points as the Saints coasted to their ninth win in 12 games.
Fabrice Siewe and Lumbao paced the Sharks with 17 points each with Siewe tallying another double-double with 15 rebounds. The top playoff seed could have been a fitting cap to what has been a very good return to the league after going on a leave of absence after the Ninth NAASCU in 2009-2010 wherein they took home Third Place.
If the Saints emerge victorious over the Griffins on Tuesday, they will up their mark to 10-3 and tie idle Our Lady of Fatima University. However, the Saints will earn to top spot by virtue of their 71-54 clubbing of the Phoenix last September 2 at RTU.
How They Scored:
SAINT CLARE (96) – Santos 23, Rebugio 20, Rios 18, Managuelod 10, Puspus 6, Dionisio 6, de Leon 4, Hallare 4, Fongue 4, Palencia 1.
LYCEUM OF SUBIC BAY (85) – Lumbao 17, Siewe 17, Timpog 14, Fomera 12, Saludo 11, Pelaez 7, Hansen 3, Jacaban 2, Castillo 2, del Rosario 0.
Period Scores: 31-19, 54-34, 67-66, 96-85.