Games Tuesday (The Arena, San Juan City)
8 a.m. – San Beda vs SSC-R (Jrs)
10 a.m. – St. Benilde vs Letran (Jrs)
12 noon – San Beda vs SSC-R (Srs)
2 p.m. – St. Benilde vs Letran (Srs)
4 p.m. – Arellano vs Mapua (Srs)
6 p.m. – Arellano vs Mapua (Jrs)
By WAYLON GALVEZ
Mapua nearly blew an 11-point advantage in the fourth quarter against the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, hanging on 79-76 Friday to keep their semifinal bid alive in NCAA Season 95 at The Arena in San Juan.
Third year guard Noah Lugo scored a game-high 16 points, while second year forward Warren Bonifacio added 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Renz Victoria 11 points.
The Cardinals endured some tense moments late in the game.
Mapua took an 11-point lead, 75-64 behind Lugo, Victoria and Cyril Gonzales who combined in a 15-2 run that erased a 62-60 EAC edge with 4:20 to play.
But the Generals fought back behind JP Maguliano, Marwin Taywan, Adrian de Guzman, whose jumper trimmed the Cardinals’ lead to 78-76 with 46.8 seconds left.
EAC had a chance to either tie or win the game but Taywan shot an air-ball trey and Maguliano, who grabbed the offensive rebound, failed to get off a decent shot.
Lugo collared the loose ball, was fouled by Tawyan and split his free throws for the final score.
The win improved Mapua’s record to 5-6 as it has now won five of the last six games, one-and-a-half games behind College of St. Benilde (6-4), which is playing Lyceum of the Philippine University (8-3) at press time.
Mapua’s first year coach Randy Alcantara commended his players for the effort they gave, a fitting follow up from their 105-101 double overtime win against Intramuros neighbor Letran last week.
“Malaking boost sa amin yun double OT win. Talagang yung character ng mga players nandoon naman. From junior’s team mga sanay naman manalo yun mga yan,” said Alcantara.
“Eto na siguro yung inaantay namin (turnaround after a 0-5 start), mas maging aggressive pa kami sa mga susunod na games,” added Alcantara, whose team’s next game is against season host Arellano University on Monday.
EAC, which fell to 1-11, for 15 points from Maguliano, while Taywan added 13 points and de Guzman contributed 12 points off the bench for Generals rookie coach Oliver Bunyi.
MAPUA 79 – Lugo 16, Bonifacio 13, Victoria 11, Gonzales 9, Gamboa 7, Buñag 6, Serrano 5, Nieles 4, Nocum 4, Salenga 2, Aguirre 2, Garcia 0.
EAC 76 – Maguliano 15, Taywan 13, De Guzman 12, Mendoza 10, Dayrit 8, Cadua 7, Gurtiza 4, Luciano 3, Estacio 2, Martin 2, Gonzales 0.
Quarters: 17-20; 35-43; 58-56; 79-76.