MAPUA – After taking advantage of the absence of Cade Flores at Arellano University and defeating them with a score of 67-47 in the NCAA Season 98 Seniors Basketball Tournament on Wednesday at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City, Mapua University’s hopes of making it into the final four are still in tact.

From the very beginning of the game, the Cardinals put their foot firmly on the accelerator. After the first period, they had a lead of eight points, having secured a score of 16-8.

After grabbing an offensive board and scoring a pair of points, Jomer Mercado extended Mapua’s lead to its largest margin of victory (36-21) of the first half.

A drive to the hoop by Adrian Nocum at exactly 8 minutes and 18 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter resulted in the largest advantage of the game, 56-28. At this point in the game, the Chiefs had a deficit that was simply insurmountable for them to overcome.

“Makikita mo talaga sa umpisa yung mga body language ng mga players e. Sabi ko kung yung starters, nagpakita ng ganyan… Dapat yung second unit, third unit mahiya naman kayo sa nag-start na ganun yung energy. So naghawa-hawa lang at nag-perform sila ng maayos,” said Cardinals head coach Randy Alcantara.

Arellano’s bench was outscored by Mapua’s bench 44-23.

Juaqui Garcia led the Cardinals in scoring with 13 points, and he also grabbed two rebounds, dished out an assist, and stole a ball. During this time, Mercado contributed ten markers, six boards, and two dimes to the pile.

Nocum had a solid and well-rounded effort, as evidenced by his 10 markers, 9 boards, and 5 dimes.

Both Shane Menina and Axel Doromal, who play combo guard for Arellano, each had 10 points for their team. The former player produced three steals and five assists, while the latter added two rebounds and a nickel to the team’s total.

Both clubs are now tied for sixth and seventh place with a win-loss record of 6-9, which is the same as their previous record.

On Saturday at three o’clock in the afternoon, the Cardinals will face San Beda University with the intention of reclaiming what is rightfully theirs. On the other hand, the Chiefs will seek to get back on track when they play against University of Perpetual Help System DALTA on Tuesday at the same time, which is 3:00 PM.

The Standings:

Mapua 67 –– Garcia 13, Nocum 10, Mercado 10, Hernandez 8, Cuenco 8, Pido 5, Agustin 5, Bonifacio 3, Soriano 2, Salenga 2, Lacap 1, Igliane 0.

Arellano 47 — Menina 10, Doromal 10, Abastillas 8, Tolentino 6, Sunga 4, Mallari 3, Oftana 3, Mantua 2, Talampas 1, Oliva 0.

Quarterscores: 16-8, 36-21, 52-28, 67-47.

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