DEFENDING champion Mapua finally chalked one in the win column, crawling back from 20 points down to pull off a 92-90 victory over Letran to end its woes in the NCAA Season 95 juniors basketball tournament on Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
"Sobrang saya. Feeling ko, nag-champion kami. Siyam sa 12 namin, rookies and lahat sila binigay yung best nila," said first-year coach Yong Garcia.
Jonnel Policarpio carried the Red Robins with a near-triple-double performance, finishing with 19 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists to go with three blocks to get a win after four losses.
Megan Galang also starred in the endgame as he poured eight of his 16 points in the final five minutes, while also collecting three boards and two assists.
Mapua clawed its way back from a 20-point deficit, 35-15, in the second period before staging a huge 29-point fourth quarter eruption and steal the win from the Squires.
"Sinabi ko lang sa kanila nung halfitme, ibigay yung best nila, i-enjoy yung game, at the same time, mag-stick sa system," added Garcia.
Hector Buenaflor topped the Red Robins with 20 points and four rebounds, while Neil Castor had 12 points and seven boards.
CJ Saure had a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds with four assists, but that wasn't enough as Letran dropped to 2-4.
Shawn Argente also had 20 points, as Andrei Romenez got 17 points, three dimes and two rebounds for the Squires.
Arellano made it four straight wins with a 78-70 victory over Perpetual.
Danren Nepomuceno led the streaking Braves with 23 points and four assists, while Felix Villarante poured 11 points and four boards.
Louie Lime also took care of the paint with his nine points and 12 rebounds, as Chris Recto got six points and six boards for Arellano, which rose to solo second at 4-1.
The Braves looked like they would cruise to the easy win after holding a 25-point lead numerous times in the fourth quarter, before Yuki Kawamura helped the Junior Altas trim the deficit.
Kawamura shot 4-of-11 from threes, to finish with 17 points and two rebounds for Perpetual (2-3) as it suffered its third straight defeat.
Emman Galman got 14 points, seven boards, and three dimes before fouling out late, while Angelo Gelsano contributred 11 points and five rebounds.
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.
Quarterscores: 14-26; 37-47; 63-71; 92-90.
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.
Quarterscores: 21-17; 43-23; 69-46; 78-70.