St. Clare tops CEU for NAASCU crown
MANILA, Philippines - St. Clare College-Caloocan pulled off a thrilling 78-74 overtime victory over Centro Escolar University to capture the 12th NAASCU men’s basketball crown via sweep at the Makati Coliseum yesterday.
Jeff Viernes, who fired 38 points in powering St. Clare to an 82-77 win in the opener of the best-of-three title series, sustained his form and poured in 31 points to lead the Saints to their first NAASCU championship.
Viernes hit two free throws to force overtime at 71 then the Saints outscored the Scorpions in the extra period to clinch the victory and the crown.
“CEU played great but our boys were determined. This is a product of all the hard work the members of the team did during the off-season,” said Dr. Jay Adalem, president of St. Clare.
Viernes later bagged the MVP plum and led teammate Eugene Torres, Scorpions Axl Garcia and Mark Guillen and STI’s Cedric Ablaza in the Mythical team.
The Baby Scorpions, meanwhile, beat STI, 90-80, to annex the juniors title.
Jason Opiso and Aaron Jeruta finished with 31 and 30 points, respectively, for the CEU junior squad.