MAPUA staged a lethal 21-0 third quarter run to maim Emilio Aguinaldo College, 76-66, and score its first back-to-back wins in the NCAA Season 95 seniors basketball tournament Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Laurenz Victoria bucked his one-point first half showing and scored seven in that killer stretch to swing the game from a slim 35-34 Cardinals lead to a decisive 56-34 advantage with 2:25 remaining in the canto.
The senior playmaker continued the assault in the payoff period, with his triple at the 7:15 mark of the frame extending the lead to its highest at 25, 67-42, as he finished the game with 10 points, four rebounds, and three assists.
"Binigyan talaga ng time ni coach Randy (Alcantara) yung team bonding namin. Mas nag-focus kami sa individual skills and at the same time, team defense talagang tinutukan namin," said deputy coach Yong Garcia, who spoke in behalf of Alcantara whose blood pressure spiked after the game.
Mapua got its first winning streak of the season after starting its campaign 0-5.
Cyril Gonzales led the Cardinals with 13 points, three rebounds, and two steals, as Paolo Hernandez scored 11 points built on two treys, to go with three boards, two dimes, and two steals.
Emotions, however, arose late in the game as Jasper Salenga was thrown out with a disqualifying foul on his hit against JC Luciano, before Joaqui Garcia was also called for an unsportsmanlike foul for his excessive contact against Renz Gonzales with the game already beyond doubt.
"Disappointed si coach Randy sa last part ng game. Gusto sana niyang bigyan ng chance ang players para mabigyan sila ng confidence pero di naging maganda ang resulta," said Garcia.
Luciano topped the Generals with 12 points, seven rebounds, and two steals, as JP Maguliano had 10 points and six boards in the defeat.
EAC bowed for the fifth straight time to remain at the cellar at 1-6.
MAPUA 76 -- Gonzales 13, Hernandez 11, Victoria 10, Bonifacio 8, Serrano 8, Lugo 7, Garcia 5, Gamboa 4, Salenga 4, Bunag 2, Jabel 2, Nieles 2, Aguirre 0, Dela Cruz 0, Nocum 0.
EAC 66 -- Luciano 12, Maguliano 10, Gonzales 9, Mendoza 7, Dayrit 6, Tampoc 6, Carlos 5, Taywan 4, Martin 3, Cadua 2, Gurtiza 2, Boffa 0, De Guzman 0, Estacio 0.
Quarters: 15-10, 35-27, 60-39, 76-66.