DEFENDING champion St. Clare College-Caloocan achieved another milestone by winning its third straight title -- and fourth in seven years -- in the National Athletic Association of School, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) basketball tournament at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
The Saints rode on the troika of Irven Palencia, Junjie Hallare and Mohamed Pare to subdue Enderun College, 82-77, in Game 2 of the scheduled best-of-three title series and capture the championship via a rare 12-game sweep.
St. Clare also defeated Enderun, 81-67, in the opener at the Pasig Sports Center last Wednesday.
Palencia finished with 23 points on 11-of-20 shooting with seven rebounds and seven assists for the Caloocan City-based Saints of NAASCU founding president Dr. Ernesto Jay Adalem and coach Jiniño Manansala.
Hallare added 18 points and Pare contributed a double double with 12 points and a game-high 25 rebounds for the Saints, who also won the titles in 2012, 2016 and 2017.
Overall, St. Clare became the second winningest team in league history with four titles behind only University of Manila, which won seven championships.
Before winning over Enderun, St. Clare is tied with Centro Escolar University with three titles each.
Manansala also broke his tie with CEU coach Egay Macaraya as second winningest coach with four titles and moved within another title of tying UM mentor Ato Tolentino as the winningest coach with five. "
Thank God for winning this championship . The boys deserved to win the title," said Manansala.
Brandon Chauca led Enderun with 27 points, eight rebounds and four assists, Michael Dela Cruz added 19 points and Mark Javen Gatdula contributed 18 points and nine rebounds.
St.Clare completed a double celebration by ruling the junior division with 81-77 win over Our Lady of Fatima University.
Stephen Catacutan finished with 19 points and nine rebounds, and Cedrick Mwamba had 17 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks.
Nikko Polo Panganiban had17 points, 15 rebounds and four assists and Danzel James Gomez had 16 points, six assists and four rebounds in the Titans' losing cause.
St Clare College (81) – Catacutan 19, Mwamba 17, Victoriano 13, Nieva 11, Lopez 8, Green 7, Dayrit 6, Cañares
Fatima (77) - Panganiban 17, Gomez 16, Compas 13, Alejandro 11, Bernos 9, Abila 9, Valiente 2, Davis 0, Pascual 0, Catillo
Quarterscores: 29-20, 42-35, 65-55, 81-77.
St. Clare (82) – Palencia 23, Hallare 18, Pare 12, Catura 10, Santos 10, Penaredondo 6, Joven 3, de Leon 0, Fontanilla 0, Rubio
Enderun (77) – Chauca 27, de la Cruz 19, Gatdula 18, Oebanda 7, Nunez 6, Tancioco 0, Maagdenberg 0, Dungan 0, Mulvhill 0, Mariano 0, Sacundo
Quartercores: 21-22, 41-32, 65-55, 82-77.