NAASCU: STI upsets defending champion U-ManilaBy Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA — Maclean Sabellina unloaded 23 points to power STI to a 90-72 triumph over defending champion University of Manila Friday at the start of the National Athletics Association of Schools, College and Universities at the Makati Coliseum.
The 6-foot-5 Sabellina, a stalwart from Pacific Pipes in the PBA D-League, also accounted for 12 rebounds as the Olympians got back at the Hawks, who swept them last year for the crown.
Veteran coach Vic Ycasiano also got inspired games from Jasper Melano and Lester Bocablo who turned in 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Jeff Alvin Viernes led the Hawks with 15 points, while last year’s MVP Eugene Torres and Jay-Ar Manuel added 14 points each.
UM, which returned as champion last year after four so-so seasons, sorely missed the services of 6-foot-5 Edwin Tamayo and Rhandelle Colina.
The game kicked off the league’s 11th season which began with a simple ceremony led by Naascu president Dr. Ernest Jay Adalem of host St. Clare-Caloocan.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios, PBA commissioner Chito Salud and MVP Sports Foundation also delivered messages to the students and athletes of the 10 participating schools.
Meanwhile, Centro Escolar’s Benzar Alih Abad and Allison Gonzales were crowned Mr. and Ms Naascu 2011 during the opening rites.
The competing schools are UM, STI, Centro Escolar, St. Clare, AMA Computer, City University of Pasay, New Era, Our Lady of Fatima, Informatics and Trace College.
STI 90—Sabellina 23, Melano 12, Bocablo 11, Moreno 10, Morales 9, Gabo 7, Ihalas 6, Orandya 5, Ablaza 4, Bautista 3, Riva 0, Lapis 0, Crisostomo 0.
UM 72—Viernes 15, Torres 14, Manuel 14, Ruiz 11, Ancheta 6, Ibay 5, Flores 2, Bonleon 0.
Quarters: 21-16, 41-31, 61-46, 90-72