MANILA, Philippines - STI Colleges got back at last year’s finals tormentor University of Manila, fashioning out a 90-72 rout at the start of the 11th NAASCU (National Athletic Association of Schools and Universities) basketball championships before an overflow crowd at the Makati Coliseum yesterday.
Maclean Sabellina turned in a double-double performance of 23 points and 12 rebounds as he powered the Olympians, handled by coach Vic Ycasiano, to victory in a rematch of last year’s title showdown.
Jasper Melano and Lester Bocablo added 12 and 11 points, respectively, for STI.
Jeff Alvin Viernes led the Jojo Castillo-mentored UM with 15 points, while last year’s MVP Eugene Torres and Jay-Ar Manuel added 14 points apiece.
The Hawks, seeking their seventh title in 11 years, played without slotman Edwin Tamayo and last year’s scoring champion Rhandelle Colina.
Now on its 11th year, the 10-team tournament formally opened yesterday with the traditional parade of teams and dance performances of member-teams.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director Sonny Barrios, PBA commissioner Chito Salud and MVP Sports Foundation head Al Panlilio delivered inspirational messages.
NAASCU president Dr. Ernesto Jay Adalem of host St. Clare College-Caloocan welcomed the guests and participants during the two-hour long opening ceremony.