SEASON 13 of the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (Naascu) fires off with a rematch of last year’s men’s basketball championship on Aug. 13 at Makati Coliseum.
St. Clare starts its title defense against Centro Escolar University at 11 a.m., but the Saints expect a tougher road in their quest for back-to-back crowns as the league welcomes two new member-schools.
Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) and Rizal Technological University (RTU) debut in the tournament that unfolds with a three-game bill.
“St. Clare remains as the team to beat along with CEU,” league president Dr. Vic Santos of host Fatima University, who was joined by secretary general Pepe Sanchez, said in yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
“But we feel that we’re the darkhorse and we might pull off some upsets. We’ve beefed up our team and we’ll be competitive.”
The Saints, who lost to graduation top gunners Jeff Viernes and Eugene Torres, battle the Scorpions at 11 a.m., right after the 9 a.m. opening ceremony.
Fatima University clashes with University of Pasay at 1 p.m., while New Era U tests newcomer RTU at 3 p.m.
“Our young players are expected to step up,” St. Clare’s Dr. Jay Adalem, the league chair, said of the Saints, who swept the Scorpions in last year’s finals.