The Phoenix Rises to the top
After a week of rains and venue problems, the 11th NAASCU Seniors Basketball tournament resumed at the STI College Gym at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. Seeing action for the first time are the four teams that did not see action on opening day. Anxiously waiting to play are the Informatics Icons, The AMA Computer University Titans, the St. Clare Saints and newcomer Trace College Stallions. Unfortunately the only team to barge into the win column is the Informatics International College Icons which opened their 2011 campaign on a high note with a 94 - 75 drubbing of the City University of Pasay Eagles.
The NAASCU Welcome the Stallions
Not to be outdone are the two league leaders as opening day winners STI College and Centro Escolar University beat separate opponents to tote similar 2- 0 win-loss cards. The STI College Olympians gave the debuting AMA Computer University a bitter pill to swallow in their opening game as the home team crushed the mighty Titans 80 – 51. Following suit are the Centro Escolar University Scorpions that brought down the erstwhile unbeaten New Era Hunters 70 – 45.
The Eagles fly
Opening day losers Our Lady of Fatima University and defending champion University of Manila also fashioned out impressive routs as the Phoenix gave a rude welcome to the newest team in the NAASCU, the Trace Stallions. The Phoenix beat the Stallions 80 – 50 while the defending champs gave the Mark Herrera coached St. Clare Saints a 76 – 50 beating.
Bull strong Mark Montuaño, the Iconic Icon scored a game high 27 points to lead Informatics’ attack which also had PBA D-League campaigner Mark Limpat who scored 10 points and ace point guard Eric Acuña who scored 10 points also. The Eagles who is still coached by former UE Red Warrior and MBA veteran Alvin Zuñiga were led by Angelo Chua and Jerome Obar who scored 17 and 13 points respectively.
Our Lady of Fatima University barged into the win column by dispatching newcomer Trace College of Los Banos Stallions 80 – 50. The trapping defense of the Phoenix worked wonders as it created opportunities for their top scorers Larry Rivera who topscored with 16 points and James Jacinto who ably backed up Rivera with 12 points. Former FEU-FERN Baby Tamaraw and UP Maroon Dexter Rosales quietly debuted for the Antipolo based Phoenix by orchestrating his team’s offense and scoring 8 points.
Moreno for two
Host team STI College drew big games from their big men as Forwards Cedric Ablaza, Maclean Sabellina and Ivan Moreno combined for 37 points and together with the 13 points of point guard Hesed Gabo the Olympians ran rings around the AMA Computer University Titans. The Olympians led from start to finish and their energy and enthusiasm never waned which was evidenced in the intensity of these rival schools.
Ablaza on the drive
In the final two games of the day the Centro Escolar University Scorpions used their balanced attack to subdue the previously unbeaten New Era University Hunters to join STI at the top with two wins and no losses. Joining the Fatima Phoenix is the defending champion UM Hawks who gave the ST. Clare Saints of debuting coach Mark Herrera a sound beating.
Our Lady of Fatima (80)
Rivera 16, Jacinto 12, Alba 11, Lacastesantos 10, Rosales 8, Benavides 7, Valdevilla 6, Villaton 4, Caligapan 2, Aque 2, Flores 2, Nsoga 0, Panes 0,
TRACE College (50)
HIlario 22, Boyles 12, Sambrano 17, Villamayor 5, Kaflores 2, Nunez 2, Ercia 0 Agsundo 0 Mila, 0,
Period: 26-17, 47-29, 73-38, 50-20
Montuano 27, Jalalon 13, Limpat 10, Acuna 10, Sanghera 7, Abiang 6, Del Rosario 4, Teodoro 4, Blanco 3, Santos T. 2, Carlos 2, Limin 2, Robles 2, Tan 2, Sy 0, Ungco 0.
Chua 17, Obar 13, Garcia 11, Delacruz 10, Pervera 9, Delgado 7, Telpo 6, Faniyi 0.
Period: 28-15, 37-54, 71-54, 75-94
STI COLLEGE (80)
Ablaza 17, Gabo 13, Sabellina 10, Moreno 10, Chavez 8, Ohandja 6, Melano 5, Bautista 4, Riva 4, Saldaña 2, Morales 1, Alcantara 0, Ortega 0, Ihalas 0, Labis 0,
Avellana 10, Alvarado 9, Mangalindan 9, Cabico 7, Villena 4, Ibarra 4, Sumay 4, Rios 2, Castellano 1, Nicolas 0, Ballesteros 0,
Quarterscores: 22 - 13, 40 - 31, 58 - 38, 80 - 51
Centro Escolar Univeristy (70)
Lamosa 15, Gallardo 9, Orbeta 6, Garcia 6, Magbitang 4, Alquisalas 4, Beldad 4, Dumapig 4, Lobaton 3, Rublico 3, Chua 2, Parale 2, Mallari 2, Jasmin 2, Babad 2, Guillen 1, Mejos 0
New Era University (45)
Roncal 16, Sarmiento 8, Acuna 5, Marcial 4, Talastas 4, Cuadra 2, Reynoso 2, Ferrer 2, Faner 2, Artienda 0, Bebit 0, Revendar 0,