C. Escolar, St. Clare keep top 2 Naascu slots


CENTRO Escolar kept its perfect record even as defending champion St. Clare raised its winning streak to three after downing their respective rivals Saturday in the National Athletics Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (Naascu) basketball tournament  at PUP Gym.

The CEU Scorpions, last year’s runners-up, picked up their fourth straight win by trouncing the New Era Hunters, 64-54, behind solid team play and a fine performance by Congolese reinforcement Rodriguez Ebondo.

St. Clare, stung by an opening-day loss to CEU, continued its steady climb by drubbing Fatima, 90-68.

Counting their 71-53 rout of Rizal Technological U last week, just before the league schedule was disrupted by bad weather and floods, the Saints improved to 3-1 for solo second spot.

In the other seniors game, RTU notched its second straight win by beating winless City University of Pasay, 57-40.

The 6-foot-5 Ebondo scattered a game-high 17 points capped by a thunderous slam dunk that sealed the final score. Alfred Ryan Batino earlier engineered an 11-0 spurt at the start that set the tone for the rout.

Batino finished with 13 points, while slotman Neil Ilarde and playmaker Leo Roncal wound up with 14 apiece for CEU.

St. Clare held a slim 31-29 lead after two quarters and needed a third-quarter onslaught led by Dennis Santos, who banged in 11 of his 21 points in that period.

The RTU Blue Thunder, who like the Polytechnic University of the Philippines Mighty Maroons are making their maiden stint in the league, limited the Eagles to a single field goal in the first quarter before cruising to victory.

The scores:
First Game
RTU 57—Quiro 10, Sarona 10, Cenal 8, Santos 6, Mayuyo 6, Montecillo 5, dela Pena 4, Bangeles 2, Barilea 2, Romano 2, Mariano 2, Malimban 0, Lagman 0, Bear 0, de Jesus 0, Bolante 0.
CUP 40—Penaredondo 18, Ramos 5, Manansala 4, Telpo 3, Tonel 2, Yambao 2, Bandalan 2, Lizardo 2, Erice 2, Sarmiento 0.
Quarters: 16-2, 27-14, 43-29, 57-40
Second Game
ST. CLARE 90—Santos 21, Ibay 16, Managuelod 16, Jamito 13, Ambolodto 7, Gil 6, Matias 5, Palma 4, Woundo 2, Dulalia 0, Cruz 0.
FATIMA 68—JJ Mallari 13, Jornacion 12, Flores 10, Pineda 9, Banaria 9, JR Mallari 4, Ignacio 4, Datu 4, Rosales 2, Villalon 1, Gallardo 0.
Quarters:  23-14, 31-29, 64-47, 90-68
Third Game
CEU 64—Ebondo 17, Batino 13, Sedurifa 9, Abundo 8, de Leon 6, Jeruta 5, Banua 3, Celso 2, Magbitang 1, Soriano 0, Opiso 0, Costanos 0, Anunciacion 0. Pagkatipunan 0.
NEW ERA 54—Ilarde 14, Roncal 14, Sarmiento 7, Paguio 5, Faner 5, Crisostomo 4, Bondoc 3, Orbase 2, Molina 0, Bebit 0, Cabacungan 0, Luz 0.
Quarters: 18-10, 30-26, 47-36, 64-54

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