Generals go back-to-back behind clutch Munsayac

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 02, 2016 04:33 PM
Generals go back-to-back behind clutch Munsayac
CAPTAIN CLUTCH. Francis Munsayac was the hero in EAC's first winning streak of the season.

All throughout the 92nd Season of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Emilio Aguinaldo College have proven to be no longer the bottom-feeders they have been in recent times.

And now in back-to-back outings, the Generals are proving to be more than just a tough-out.

Pumping all but four of his 15 points in the last 10 minutes, Francis Munsayac rallied EAC all the way to their second consecutive victory, this time a 73-66 triumph over sinking Lyceum of the Philippines University on Friday at the San Juan Arena.

Hamadou Laminou and Sidney Onwubere carried EAC off to a strong start and combined for 24 points in the first two quarters to match their opponents’ output. However, they lost steam in the third quarter and found themselves trailing by one entering the final frame.

Fortunately for the vastly-improved upstarts, Munsayac got into his groove at just the right time as his highlight reel-worthy spin-to-score punctuated a 14-5 run that took back a 60-55 advantage in their favor at the midway mark of the fourth.

The Pirates then knotted the tally at 60 inside the last four minutes only to see Munsayac again front a 13-6 finishing kick that put the game away once and for all for the Generals. “We saw today how good Francis is,” coach Ariel Sison said of his team captain in the post-game conference.

EAC seems to be peaking at just the right time with their second straight win improving their record to 5-9. They are very much still alive in the tournament and still searching for what would be the school’s first-ever Final Four appearance.

However, Sison said they would not be putting pressure on themselves and would instead target just to stay in the winner’s circle. “Wala na kami chance siguro (sa Final Four) kasi Mapua is 8-5 and we have nine losses. What we are looking at is to get more wins,” he said.

He then continued, “If it happens, bonus na lang, but it would be difficult for us.”

Laminou and Onwubere wound up with a combined 36 points, 17 rebounds, and three blocks for the Generals who tied their fallen foes in the standings for seventh-place.

For LPU, it was Ian Alban who led all scorers with 18 points. With their fourth loss in the last five games, however, they are fading away from the playoff picture.

BOX SCORES

EAC 73 – Laminou 20, Onwubere 16, Munsayac 15, King 6, Neri 5, Diego 4, Morada 3, Aguas 2, Serrano 2, Corilla 0, Guzman 0, Mendoza 0, Pascua 0

LPU 66 – Alban 18, Nzeusseu 16, Marata 9, Alanes 5, Soliman 4, Magbuhos 4, Rubite 3, Bulawan 2, Caduyac 2, Serafico 2, Gabayni 1, Baltazar 0, Malabanan 0

QUARTER SCORES: 21-8; 35-24; 46-47; 73-66

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