MAPUA doused a late-game Emilio Aguinaldo College fightback to hammer out an 82-72 victory in the NCAA Season 92 basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
With their third straight victory, the Cardinals improved their playoff hopes with a 9-5 win-loss record.
Andrew Estrella starred for the Cardinals with an all-around game of 19 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists.
His layup gave the Cardinals a double-digit lead, 64-53, that they never relinquished.
Estrella hit a triple with 1:57 to go that made it 80-66.
Unsportsmanlike fouls called on Justin Serrano and later on Estrella allowed the Generals to slice the lead to 80-70.
But the Generals had little time to turn things around and the Cardinals went on to claim the win.
"Buo na yung kumpyansa namin pa ra mga susunod na games," said Darell Menina.
Almel Orquino also did well for Mapua with 18 markers, while Menina and JR Raflores added 14 apiece.
EAC suffered its 10th loss in 15 games.
The Generals were paced by Francis Munsayac with 25 points.
Mapua 82 - Estrella 19, Orquina 18, Menina 14, Raflores 14, Eriobu 8, Serrano 4, Aguirre 2, Oraeme 2, Isit 1, Bunag 0, Victoria 0.
EAC 72 - Munsayac 25, Onwubere 14, Laminou 13, King 7, Morada 5, Mendoza 4, Diego 2, Neri 2, Corilla 0, Guzman 0, Pascua 0, Serrano 0.
Quarterscores: 15-19; 36-36; 62-53; 82-72.