By JUSTIN VALENCIA
MAPUA stayed in the playoff hunt after dumping San Sebastian, 90-73, Thursday in the NCAA Season 95 seniors basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Up six, 72-66, with 5:48 remaining, the Cardinals unloaded a 16-7 bomb capped by Christian Bunag's three-point play with 1:10 left to put the game away, 88-73, and leave the Golden Stags stunned.
Noah Lugo spearheaded Mapua's attack with five triples and finished with 22 points, four rebounds, four dimes, and two steals, while Laurenz Victoria added 18 points, five boards and four assists in the win.
"Ang importante itong last two games namin yung makuha namin dahil ang habol na lang namin siguro ay yung playoffs eh, na mag-tie kami ng Baste. Malaking panalo ito para sa amin kasi nung nanalo sila, nakalamang na sila ng panalo sa amin," said coach Randy Alcantara as his team moved to 8-8 for fifth place, a game behind San Sebastian which slipped to 9-7.
Cyril Gonzales chalked up 15 points in 24 minutes off the bench for the Cardinals, as Bunag just missed out on a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.
RK Ilagan had 19 points and six boards for the Golden Stags, while Allyn Bulanadi tallied 18 points but was held scoreless in the payoff period.
San Sebastian missed the services of Alvin Capobres, who was in street clothes for the tiff.
With the victory, St. Benilde also remained in contention for a Final Four spot at sixth place with its 7-9 card.
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.
Quarters: 23-15, 46-39, 68-60, 90-73.