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    Cardinals look to make homecourt edge count vs winless Altas as NCAA on Tour heads to Mapua

    Jul 19, 2017
    The Cardinals look to capitalize on homecourt edge against the winless Altas. Raph Lazo

    MAPUA looks for a fitting follow-up to its morale boosting win over Letran when the Cardinals host Perpetual Help as the NCAA on Tour in Season 93 resumes in Intramuros on Thursday.

    The Cardinals are coming off a 78-75 win over neighbor Knights and will look to ride their momentum against a hard-lucked Altas side in the lone senior's match of the day set at 4 p.m.

    It will be the second time the league will be holding the NCAA on Tour after Arellano lost at home to San Sebastian, 65-56, last Thursday.

    Andoy Estrella delivered the dagger in the Knights' hearts when he drained a stepback three pointer with five seconds left to tow Mapua to a hard-earned win.

    After an uncertain preseason with the departure of two-time MVP Allwell Orame and rising star Darell Menina, the Cardinals are finally seeing things fall into place, with players like Estrella stepping up.

    The veteran guard has been playing on a high level in his final year, averaging 21 points a game in his first two games.

    Estrella credited his high level of play to the confidence given to him by head coach Atoy Co.

    "Sabi lang ni coach, kunin ko lang yung bola at akin na yung last shot," said Estrella after the match. "Taas ng kumpiyansa ko bago ko itira yun."

    While the Cardinals are on a high, the Altas are eager to lose the tag as the only winless team in the tournament.

    With its first victory against College of St. Benilde overturned, the Altas are yet to barge into the win column after getting walloped by the JRU Heavy Bombers, 68-54, also last week.

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    Despite that, assistant coach Jimwell Gican remains optimistic that the Altas can eventually find the winning groove.

    “It’s a long process and we will try to be patient with it and stay positive as much as we can," he said.

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    The Cardinals look to capitalize on homecourt edge against the winless Altas. Raph Lazo
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