NAASCU champion St. Clare College-Caloocan braces for a tough battle in the National Capital Region qualifying phase of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League starting on starting Jan. 15 at the Jose Rizal University gym in Mandaluyong City.
Led by two-time MVP Aris Dionisio, the Saints swept De Ocampo in the finals to bag their second straight crown and third since 2001 in the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities.
Junjie Hallare, Paeng Rebugio and African import Mohamed Pare also played key roles for the champion squad.
St. Clare is bracketed in Group A with MBL champion Colegio de San Lorenzo and NCAA squad Jose Rizal University.
In Group B are Far Eastern University, San Sebastian College and PATTS.
The top teams in Group A and Group B will dispute the title in a one-game final on Jan. 18.
St. Clare will open its campaign against CdSL on Jan. 16 before taking on JRU the next day.
“We’re ready to take the challenge. We like our chances,” said coach Jino Manansala.