PASIG CITY – Saint Clare College of Caloocan worked extra hard to fashion a 76-66 come from behind victory over Our Lady of Fatima University and complete the semifinal cast of the Rain Or Shine Sumilang Invitational Tournament Tuesday night (April 25) at the Sumilang Covered Court. A lot of the characters are no longer around but the rematch of last season’s NAASCU championship protagonists was just as intense.
Reigning NAASCU Most Valuable Player Aris Dionisio joined forces with Reynaldo de Mesa in a 13-2 run to begin the fourth period and restore the lead to the Saints for good, 65-57. Earlier at the start of the third period, Christophe Essomba keyed Fatima’s rise to their biggest lead of the game, 46-35.
The Phoenix played well despite having only nine active players. Adding to their problems was the loss of team leader Jess Pedrosa who dislocated his finger less than three minutes into the game and had to be rushed to a nearby hospital thus reducing their rotation to eight.
The energetic de Mesa was very active on both ends of the court to lead Saint Clare with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Dionisio also had an all-around effort of 16 points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks.
Essomba paced the Phoenix with 14 points and 22 rebounds. The Saints outscored the Phoenix in the pivotal fourth period, 24-11.
Saint Clare will meet Centro Escolar University in the knockout semifinals. The other matchup will be between Philippine Christian University against Philippine Merchant Marine School.
How They Scored:
SAINT CLARE (76) – de Mesa 20, Dionisio 16, Principe 10, Lumabas 9, Puspus 8, Hallare 7, Catura 4, Santos 2, de Leon 0, Fuentes 0, Enriquez 0, Alcober 0, Martinez 0.
OUR LADY OF FATIMA (66) – Essomba 14, Lansang 13, Gomez 12, Canoy 11, Alarcon 8, Diosa 5, Pedrosa 2, Abila 1, Santiago 0.
Period Scores: 15-16, 33-38, 52-55, 76-66.