Mapua on the rise with its brand new twin towers

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 06, 2018 07:18 PM
Mapua on the rise with its brand new twin towers
Big things are expected from Warren Bonifacio - the biggest recruit out of high school Mapua has had in years

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 3-15, 10th

YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Exe Biteng, Christian Bunag, Laurenz Victoria

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Warren Bonifacio, Eric Jabel, Jasper Salenga

GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Andoy Estrella, Leo Gabo

WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM MAPUA?

Mapua will improve on its last place finish a season ago.

“We will show a different Mapua from last year.” – head coach Atoy Co

With Christian Bunag and Laurenz Victoria a year wiser; veteran Exe Biteng back for his last year; and proven high school talents like Warren Bonifacio, Eric Jabel, and Jasper Salenga coming in, the Cardinals will be a problem for most of the teams in the league.

“Mas marami akong rookie ngayon. Hopefully, ma-compensate nila ang pagkawala ng mga beterano.” – head coach Atoy Co

Up front, Bunag will now have a more than capable partner-in-crime in Bonifacio. Both are double-double machines and together, those two could very well carry Mapua to more wins than the three it had last year.

The backcourt is another matter, though, and youngsters Jabel and Salenga would have to prove they could provide backup for Victoria and Biteng.

Most of all, the Cardinals would be needing a leader, somebody to show the way for all their new recruits – and that is the greater challenge in front of Bunag or Victoria or Biteng.

WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM MAPUA?

Last year, Bunag was a silent operator who worked his way to almost per game double-doubles. This year, Mapua needs him to make noise – in terms of numbers and in terms of leadership.

The same should be expected from Bonifacio who, for a long time, stood as a pillar on and off the court for Mapua High School. Look where the Red Robins are now – a legitimate power in NCAA Juniors.

While they know what they’re gonna get from their bigs, the Cardinals are just hoping for the best for their backcourt.

WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR MAPUA?

Mapua has never been a destination from blue-chip recruits. Now that their high school program is thriving, though, the Seniors squad could stand to benefit.

That begins now with Bonifacio and Salenga, key cogs in the Red Robins’ 2017 championship, as well as Jabel, a contributor in their runner-up finish in 2018, now ready and raring to take part in the Cardinals’ quest for a return to relevance.

Now, who doesn’t love a good grassroots program, right?

WHERE WOULD MAPUA BE AT THE END OF NCAA SEASON 94?

Mapua will have a tough time making the Final Four in NCAA Season 94. However, they will also be giving a tough time for all those playoff hopefuls.

“Sa basketball, may isang mananalo, may isang matatalo. Ang mas madalas mananalo, yung well-prepared.” – head coach Atoy Co

WHEN IS MAPUA’S FIRST GAME IN NCAA SEASON 94?

This season’s first NCAA on Tour on July 12 will feature revitalized Mapua visiting rebuilding JRU in its Shaw Boulevard campus. That will be the first game on the ledger for both the Cardinals and the Heavy Bombers.

As always, all of the #GalingNCAA will be on S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, LIGA HD, and livestream.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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