NCAA 95: Mapua Srs. out to reap the rewards of its champion Jrs. team

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 30, 2019 06:12 PM
Mapua Srs. out to reap the rewards of its champion Jrs. team
Mapua has finally called up Randy Alcantara, one of the top head coaches in high school in recent history, to mentor its Srs. squad

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 6-12, tied for 6th-7th

YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Warren Bonifacio, Christian Bunag, Eric Jabel, Noah Lugo, Laurenz Victoria

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Cyril Gonzales, Paolo Hernandez, Randy Alcantara (coach)

GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Exi Biteng, Cedric Pelayo, Atoy Co (coach)

WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM MAPUA?

The Mapua Cardinals in NCAA Season 95, when it comes down to it, can actually be referred to as Mapua Red Robins.

That’s because they will be led into battle by former Mapua HS standouts Warren Bonifacio, Noah Lugo, and Laurenz Victoria.

And now, they will also be mentored by Randy Alcantara – the head coach who guided the Red Robins to two championships in the last three years.

“First season ko sa Srs. ko, siyempre kinakabahan, pero excited din ako. Nakikita kong more challenging sa coaching career ko to.” – head coach Randy Alcantara

At long last, the Cardinals are all set to take full advantage of its winning Juniors program with its core players having been Red Robins, their head coach making a name for himself with the Red Robins, and their prized recruit also a Red Robin.

Yes, NCAA Season 94 Jrs. Finals MVP Paolo Hernandez will still be wearing red and gold and will be wielded as the newest weapon for Mapua’s bright future.

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

Bonifacio, true to form, had for himself a silent, but solid rookie year while Victoria broke out as an all-around weapon last season.

Continued development is only to be expected from those two, but alongside them, big things are also being expected from rookie Hernandez, a knockdown shooter who also has quite a few moves inside. Another first-year player is also being looked at for immediate impact in the form of Cyril Gonzales, a slasher hailing form Nazareth School of National University's own champion high school program.

“I’m expecting everybody to step up. Even our rookies, Pao Hernandez, Cyril Gonzales, and Joshua Dela Cruz, kung mapapansin mo, itong mga batang ‘to galing din sa mga champion team, yung character nitong ‘di basta-bastang papatalo, nandyan na.” – head coach Randy Alcantara

Most importantly, while it is an uphill climb, coach Randy has all the credentials as well as the capability in the world to finally make Mapua great again.

WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR MAPUA?

In recent history, Mapua has consistently trotted out some of the best high school teams in all of the Philippines.

Only, no matter how many championships the Red Robins won, that success hasn’t rubbed off on the Cardinals.

Now, with a multi-titled mentor at the helm, Mapua can finally claim its place as one of the few schools to have a complete and contending basketball program.

“Yung mga players, dapat mapakita rin sa Mapua community at sa buong NCAA na ibang-iba yung Cardinals na makikita nila ngayon.” – head coach Randy Alcantara

WHERE WOULD MAPUA BE AT THE END OF NCAA SEASON 95?

This is not yet Mapua’s time to be in the Final Four as coach Randy’s team is young.

“Ang goal namin is every game, maging competitive kami at makita yung pina-practice namin every day. Every game, mapahirapan lang namin kalaban namin, malaking achievement na para sa akin yun.” – head coach Randy Alcantara

That doesn’t mean, however, that they will not compete and the multi-titled mentor is sure to instill a culture change for the sleeping giant of a basketball program.

WHEN IS MAPUA’S FIRST GAME IN NCAA SEASON 95?

Coach Randy hopes to bring over his winning tradition to Mapua’s Srs. squad as they commence their campaign opposite University of Perpetual Help on July 9 at Filoil Flying V Centre.

As always, the latest season of the first and oldest collegiate league in the country will be on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and livestream.

HERE’S WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE NINE OTHER TEAMS IN NCAA SEASON 95:

Young guns to be wind beneath JRU’s wings for NCAA 95

EAC turning over a new leaf for NCAA 95

Kent Salado back in the driver's seat for Arellano in NCAA 95

Health only thing standing in way of Baste's best shot at a title

Will third time be the charm for TY Tang-coached CSB?

Without a prince, Perps hoping it's still an heir to throne

Letran's Walls of Intramuros still stand strong

Will deeper mean better for Perez and Ayaay-less LPU?

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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