Policarpio, Galang team up as Red Robins finally take flight in NCAA 95

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 30, 2019 11:58 AM
Policarpio, Galang team up as Red Robins finally take flight
Jonnel Policarpio has, without a doubt, already made a difference in his two games back for Mapua (FILE PHOTO)

STANDINGS
San Beda 4-0
Arellano 4-1
CSB-LSGH 3-1
JRU 4-2
LPU 3-2
San Sebastian 2-3
Perpetual 2-3
Letran 2-4
Mapua 1-4
EAC 0-5

At long last, Mapua High School has put it all together in the NCAA 95 Juniors Basketball Tournament, battling back from a 20-point deficit and busting out for a 92-90 come-from-behind triumph over Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre.

Rookie guard Megan Galang came up clutch, firing half of his 16 points in the last five minutes at to boost the Red Robins to their first win after five tries in their title defense.

It was Galang who hit the go-ahead jumper from the baseline that put his team on top, 91-90, with 18.4 ticks to go.

The defending champions then forced a miss from CJ Saure before their young playmaker was sent to the line where he muffed on the first and made good on the second.

The Squires called time for the last chance to win it, but both Andrei Romenez and Joshua Ramirez failed to convert as time died down.

When the final buzzer sounded, Mapua was celebrating its breakthrough win in a season that has, thus far, witnessed it working through an adjustment a coaching change as well as absences from key cogs such as Jonnel Policarpio and Anthony Fransman. "Sobrang saya. Feeing ko, nag-champion kami," first-year head coach Yong Garcia said post-game.

Now in his second game back from dealing with personal problems, Policarpio yet again proved to be the missing piece for the Red Robins, almost tallying a triple-double with 19 points, 15 rebounds, nine assists, and three blocks.

Fransman then had seven points and 13 rebounds while Hector Buenaflor, another long-limbed forward, top-scored with 20 markers and four boards.

The defending champions needed all of those to overcome a horrible first half which saw them falling behind by as much as 20, 15-35. "Sinabi ko lang sa kanila na ibigay yung best nila, i-enjoy yung game, pero at the same time, mag-stick sa system namin," coach Yong said, talking about their halftime adjustments.

For Letran, Saure was at the head of the scoring column with 21 points on top of 10 rebounds and four assists while Shawn Argente and Romenez chupped in 20 and 17 markers, respectively.

Meanwhile, Arellano High School maintained solo second following a decisive 78-70 decision against suddenly struggling University of Perpetual Help.

Danren Nepomuceno showed the Braves the way to a fourth consecutive victory after a season-opening defeat with 23 points and four rebounds while Felix Villarante also added 11 markers and four boards.

On the other hand, the Jr. Altas lost for the third time in a row after back-to-back wins. Yuki Kawamura topped the scoring column for them with 17 points while Emman Galman had 14 markers, seven rebounds, and three assists of his own.

Meanwhile, College of St. Benilde-La Salle Green Hills scored back-to-back wins for the first time in the season after overcoming San Sebastian College-Recoletos in overtime, 82-78.

RC Calimag turned in a season-best performance for the second game in a row with 28 points while rookie forward Jan Manansala pounded in an 18-marker, 12-board double-double.

Kobe Palencia then stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists as the Jr. Blazers rose to solo third now at 3-1.

The Staglets dropped to 2-3 even after a 19-point, five-rebound, three-assist breakout game from Nikko Aguilar.

BOX SCORES

FIRST GAME

MAPUA 92 - Buenaflor 20, Policarpio 19, Galang 16, Castor 12, Echavia 8, Fransman 7, Tadeo 3, Mercado 3, Parinas 2, Lugo 1, So 1, Ejercito 0

LETRAN 90 - Saure 21, Argente 20, Romenez 17, Umali 10, Ramirez 8, Tibayan 6, Lim 4, Santiago 2, Omega 2, Cauguiran 0, Cabal 0, Tolentino 0, Miranda 0, Delas Alas 0

QUARTER SCORES: 14-26, 37-47, 63-71, 92-90

SECOND GAME

ARELLANO 78 - Nepomuceno 23, Villarante 11, Lime 9, Tolentino 9, Recto 6, Salinel 5, Cuenco 5, Lopez 4, Sahali 2, Sablaon 2, Tan 2, Templonuevo 0.

PERPETUAL 70 - Kawamura 17, Galman 14, Gelsano 11, Orgo 7, Galoy 6, Escalante 5, Banaticla 4, Angeles 2, Ignacio 2, Cuevas 2, Nunez 0, Berwite 0, Manuel 0, Balazuela 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 21-17, 43-23, 69-46, 78-70.

THIRD GAME

CSB-LSGH 82 - Calimag 28, Manansala 18, Palencia 12, Quiambao 9, Arguelles 6, Valenzuela 6, Macalalag 2, Dimaunahan 1, Torrijos 0, Arciaga 0, Gagate 0, Reyes 0, Rivera 0, Estil 0.

SAN SEBASTIAN 78 - Aguilar 19, Darbin 16, Janao 13, Balo 13, Bulasa 6, Una 5, Brizo 4, Concha 2, Lustina 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 15018, 34-31, 57-48, 72-72, 82-78.

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