MAPUA coach Atoy Co was a picture of a pleased man after seeing his players step up to unleash a balanced attack in taking down San Sebastian, 88-75, on Friday.
Co particularly took special notice of Darrell Menina, who missed their last game when they suffered their first loss at the hands of Arellano due to his fever but made up for lost time with 15 points in their victory over the Stags.
“I’ll give it to Menina. He played very well,” said Co.
Menina explained he entered the game determined to make up for his absence, more so after CJ Isit left as he injured his finger while going for a pick against a Stag player.
“May lagnat kasi ako, hindi ko kaya talaga,” said Menina. “Sabi ko, bawi na lang ako ngayon. Nag-step up ako kasi wala si CJ. Buwenas din mga tira ko.”
Menina hit 6-of-12 from the field, including three triples to help the Cardinals win the game, their fifth in six outings. But Mapua also had four other players scoring in double digits, led by Exe Biteng with a game-high 19 points. Andrew Estrella also added 14 markers to go with seven assists, and Joseph Eriobu scored 12 while hauling six boards.
MVP Allwell Oraeme also got his usual numbers of 13 points, 22 rebounds, five assists, and five blocks for the Cardinals in the contest.
Co said Menina’s performance as well as the rest of the Cardinals is exactly what he wants from his team, following the loss to Arellano.
“In our last game, truthfully and honestly, we were not 100 percent that game and Allwell was nursing [an injury]. We were playing good in the first two quarters pero nung nawala is Allwell, sabay sabay silang nasiraan ng loob. Sabi ko, hindi dapat ganun ang attitude natin,” said Co.