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Tiebreaker Times


Joshua Fontanilla out to prove St. Clare can compete against country’s top teams

It has been nearly four months since they captured their third straight NAASCU title, but the St. Clare College Saints sent yet another big statement.

In their 2019 PBA D-League debut on Thursday, the Virtual Reality-backed St. Clare exploded in the final quarter to deal NCAA squad Go for Gold-St. Benilde Scratchers their second straight defeat, 92-78.

And at the forefront of the Saints’ attack was Joshua Fontanilla.

The diminutive guard dropped 15 of his game-high 27 points in the fourth alone, as he led St. Clare’s 18-5 blitz that sent them to an 88-74 lead with two minutes left. He also had four steals, three rebounds, two assists, and two blocks.

“Buo ang loob ng bata,” lauded head coach Jinino Manansala, shaking his head in awe as he looked on Fontanilla, who was in front of the camera doing post-game interview. “Napagalitan ko siya pero pagbalik, nag-take over.

Maganda ang pagtapos sa game.”

Meanwhile, Fontanilla confirmed that that he’d been scolded by the seasoned Manansala during a part of the match, but he understood why. “Oo nga po. Nape-pressure lang. Andun po yung eagerness na manalo,” he said.

His fourth-quarter exploits served as his response to Manansala, and also his way of showing that he can deliver for the Saints in a time needed the most – St. Clare headed into the game’s final minutes down by a point, 59-60.

“Yun na po yun. Kailangan po eh. Kasi kailangan po namin ng go-to guy, so kailangan po mag-step up,” said the soft-spokern, 21-year-old HRM major.

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But the win is more gratifying since the Saints have proven that they are on par with teams more favored than them like the Scratchers, who paraded Fil-Am shooter Roosevelt Adams in Thursday’s game.

However, St. Clare aren’t resting on their laurels anytime soon, even after the statement win. For Fontanilla, the challenge remains, which is to go up and lock horns with some of the best squads the D-League has to offer.

“Yun po yung biggest challenge sa’min eh, yung kumalaban ng mga mas angat po sa’min.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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