A WELL-RESTED St. Clare side took charge early on and never looked back as the Saints walloped the Philippine Merchant Marine School Mariners, 70-53, in Game 1 of the 21st National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) men’s basketball Finals Monday at the Olivarez College gym in Sucat, Paranaque.
Gil Marte and Jayson Ibay showed the way for St. Clare with 18 and 15 points, respectively, while teammate Mark Dulalia provided 12 for the Saints, who swept their 12-game elimination-round assignments to gain an outright seat in the best-of-three title series.
The Saints will shoot for the crown on Wednesday in this cagefest supported by Mikasa and Molten Balls.
“One more game. Kukunin na namin ito,” said Saints coach Jinino Manansala.
Jess Quilatan unloaded 12 points, while Elvin Chan had 11 for the Mariners, who led early behind a 10-1 blast, but were unable to contain the Saints' charge the rest of the way.
In the women’s finals, La Salle-Dasmarinas won over Rizal Technological University, 74-63, in Game 1 of their own best-of-three series.
Katherine Mangahas and Jessa Tarroja made 23 points each for the Lady Patriots.
Triples from Kevin Manlutac and Dan Reverente at the start of the first period allowed the Mariners to take the early lead, 10-1.
But the Saints quickly turned the tables around and seized a 17-16 first quarter edge, behind Dulalia’s two treys.
Ibay’s three-pointer at the start of the second canto allowed the Saints to touch off their own scoring run to take a 42-31 edge at halftime.
A triple from Elmer Managuelod gave St. Clare a 61-44 spread in the last 8:41. They were not threatened by the Mariners from there.
St. Clare (70) --Marte 18, Ibay 15, Dulalia 12, Bolos 6, Santos 5, Acebron 4, Almnibuludta 4, Managuelod 3.
PMMS (53) -- Quilatan 12, Chan 11, Reverente 10, Trinidad 6, Manlutac 5, Yagonua 3, Villamayor 3, Debulcos 2, Gonato 1.
Quarterscores: 17-16; 42-31; 56-41; 70-53.