NCAA: Mapua flies higher than JRU for first win

NCAA: Mapua flies higher than JRU for first win
Mapua will be a big problem for the rest of the field in the NCAA 94 Men's Basketball Tournament

Leaning on its newfound size advantage as well as the clutch makes of its backcourt, Mapua University is a winner in its first outing in the NCAA 94 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Skipper Christian Bunag and prized rookie Warren Bonifacio took care of the inside while Laurenz Victoria and Eric Jabel took care of the shooting as the Cardinals grounded home team Jose Rizal University, 72-60, on Thursday at the JRU Gym in Mandaluyong.

The revitalized visitors took control of the contest from the get-go and didn’t give the Heavy Bombers a taste of the lead or the momentum. “Ang overall assessment ko, I’m happy that we were able to do kung ano yung mga ni-practice namin,” a satisfied head coach Atoy Co said post-game.

However, the home team was still able to pull to as close as 47-50 early in the final frame before Bonifacio’s and-one capped off a 5-0 spurt that re-increased the Mapua lead to 55-47.

They wouldn’t look back from there en route to a wire-to-wire win to start the season.

In the end, Victoria scored 11 points on top of seven rebounds and four assists while Jabel chipped in nine markers, all but two coming in the final frame.

Twin towers Bunag and Bonifacio then combined for 14 points and 19 rebounds as the Cardinals showed that they will no longer be pushovers on the inside. “Defense, defense, defense, yun talaga,” coach Atoy said.

For JRU, RJ David was the lone bright spot with 12 points and three rebounds.

BOX SCORES

MAPUA 72 – Victoria 11, Bonifacio 10, Jabel 9, Pelayo 8, Serrano 8, Biteng 8, Lugo 6, Gamboa 6, Bunag 4, Aguirre 2, Salenga 0, Garcia 0

JRU 60 – David 12, Mendoza 11, Bordon 9, Esguerra 6, Silvarez 6, Dela Virgen 5, Santos 4, Padua 4, Miranda 3, Estrella 0, Mallari 0, Aguilar 0

QUARTER SCORES: 25-14, 34-31, 52-47, 72-60

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