NCAA: Generals go back-to-back by gunning down Cardinals
Hamadou Laminou lifted EAC to its first winning streak in the NCAA Season 94
In just one week, Emilio Aguinaldo College scored its first win and then first winning streak in the 94th Season of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Yet again showing poise in the endgame, the Generals shot down Mapua University, 89-85, on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Laminou was an unstoppable force with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and six blocks and was backstopped by Juju Bautista who had his own 13-marker, 13-board double-double as they registered a second straight win following a 0-4 start to the season.
With the game going down the wire, however, it was Renz Gonzales, Jerome Garcia, and Sean Neri who came through, converting six of their seven shots from the line inside the last two minutes. “From the free throw disaster in our opening game, we have been working on our free throws,” head coach Ariel Sison said post-game, referring to their close loss to Arelano University where they missed 29 free throws.
Still, The Cardinals had a golden opportunity to take back the lead as CJ Cadua was hit with an unsportsmanlike foul on Denniel Aguirre during a scramble for the loose ball with 13.5 ticks to go on the clock.
However, Aguirre muffed on both his free throws just as Garcia and Neri were perfect in four tries.
In the end, Gonzales had four points, seven assists, and five rebounds; Garcia had 14 markers, three boards, and three dimes; and Neri had five points of his own.
With that, the celebration continues for EAC who scored its first win in the tournament just a week ago. “Everybody is hoping to be in the Final Four. Sana magtuloy-tuloy para sa amin,” coach Ariel said.
For Mapua, Noah Lugo scored a career-high 24 points while Warren Bonifacio contributed an all-around stat line of 15 markers, 11 rebounds, and six assists.
EAC 89 – Laminou 17, Garcia 14, Bautista 13, Natividad 12, Cadua 10, Tampoc 7, Neri 5, Gonzales 4, Diego 3, Mendoza 2, Robin 2, Magullano 0, Bugarin 0
MAPUA 85 – Lugo 24, Bonifacio 15, Victoria 11, Pelayo 11, Gamboa 8, Jabel 8, Biteng 4, Aguirre 2, Bunag 2, Serrano 0, Garcia 0
QUARTER SCORES: 18-16, 33-39, 60-63, 89-85
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