MAPUA overwhelmed a short-handed National University side, 82-64, on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the 2nd Philippine Secondary School Basketball Championship at the SGS gym on Araneta Ave. in Quezon City.
Exploiting the absence of UAAP Finals MVP Hubert Cani, who served out his one-game suspension for committing two unsportsmanlike fouls, the Red Robins got off to a torrid start before warding off the repeated rallies of the reigning UAAP champions to finish the Group A eliminations with a 2-2 record.
Despite the loss, the Bullpups advanced to the crossover Round-of-8 along with Xavier School after also ending up with 2-2 marks in the tournament sponsored by Jumbo Plastic Linoleum, Ironcon Builders, MEC Computer, Hapee Toothpaste, Welcoat Paints, Dickies Underwear, Wrangler, Ever Bilena, Davies Paint and Spray & Seal Tire Sealant.
Drawing huge games from Isaac Go (18 points and 15 boards), Jarrell Lim (16 points) and Tyler Tio (14 points), the Xavier Golden Stallions raced to an early 24-9 advantage for an 84-63 victory over Chiang Kai Shek College.
Jose Rizal University, which took the slot of La Salle Greenhills, claimed the last quarterfinal berth in Group B by downing La Salle-Zobel, 78-64.
Many-time NCAA champion San Beda completed a five-game sweep of the Group B elims with a resounding 98-52 win over UAAP runner-up Ateneo.
For finishing No. 4 in their group, the Bullpups arranged an intriguing quarterfinal showdown with the Red Cubs on Saturday at Chiang Kai Shek College.
Defending champion Hope Christian High School, which finished second in Group B with a 4-1 card, goes up against Xavier, while Ateneo takes on giant-killer Mapua . Group A topnotcher San Sebastian College (3-1) battles JRU.