NCAA 95: Mapua stays alive after stopping Baste's charge to playoffs

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 10, 2019 05:49 PM
Mapua stays alive after stopping Baste's charge to playoffs
(Photo by Josh Albelda)

Mapua University played its best game in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament just in the nick of time, powering through San Sebastian College-Recoletos, 90-73, Thursday at Filoil Flying V Centre.

Fighting for their lives, the Cardinals went all-out from start to finish and prevented the Golden Stags from claiming the fourth and final playoff berth. "Kailangan lang naming bumawi dun sa first round kasi tinambakan nila kami nun. Malaking panalo 'to talaga sa amin," head coach Randy Alcantara said post-game.

Noah Lugo had 22 points, four assists, and four rebounds to his name and had all the answers for the Intramuros-based squad for each and every uprising their opponents put up.

With Baste threatening at 66-72 inside the last six minutes, it was also the veteran guard who hit a booming triple and then a fastbreak layup to jumpstart an 11-3 charge that re-increased their advantage to double-digits, 83-69.

Both the double-digit lead and the momentum would stay with Mapua the rest of the way.

In the end, Lugo was flanked by Laurenz Victoria and Cyril Gonzales with the former finishing with 18 points, five rebounds, and four assists and the latter ending with 15 markers, three dimes, and two boards.

The win was much-needed for the Cardinals as the other scenario would have closed the door on their chances and completed the cast for the playoffs.

Instead, now at 8-8, they are right behind 9-7 San Sebastian for the fourth spot.

Still, coach Randy said advancing to the next round is far from their minds. As he put it, "'Di na namin tinitignan yung standings. Ang mahalaga lang, itong last two games namin, maipanalo namin para makapag-tie man lang kami sa San Sebastian sa dulo."

For the Golden Stags, RK Ilagan and Allyn Bulanadi fronted the effort, as always, with 19 and 18 points, respectively.

BOX SCORES

MAPUA 90 - Lugo 22, Victoria 18, Gonzales 15, Bunag 9, Gamboa 8, Garcia 6, Bonifacio 4, Salenga 2, Nieles 2, Serrano 2, Nocum 2, Aguirre 0, Dela Cruz 0

SAN SEBASTIAN 73 - Ilagan 19, Bulanadi 18, Calahat 10, Villapando 9, Calma 4, Sumoda 4, Altamirano 3, Desoyo 2, Loristo 2, Suico 2, Tero 0, Isidro 0

QUARTER SCORES: 23-15, 46-39, 68-60, 90-73

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