MAPUA won for the third straight time after beating College of Saint Benilde, 76-64, on Friday in the NCAA Season 91 seniors basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
Allwell Oraeme had 19 points and 20 rebounds for the Cardinals, who improved their record to 4-3 overall.
Darell Menina had 13 points for the Cardinals, who, not only survived the absence of suspended head coach Atoy Co, but also injuries to key players Josan Nimes and CJ Isit during the game.
“On those three wins, the key was our ability to equal or surpass the energy of the opponent. We’ve been transformed into an intense team,” said Mapua assistant coach Ed Cordero, who called the shots for Mapua in the absence of Co.
“I told them in order to dream high, you have to work hard. And since coach Atoy is not here, I said we have to dedicate this game to coach Atoy, who did so much to the recruitment and the gelling of this team,” said Cordero.
Isit suffered a hard fall that saw his right elbow twisting awkwardly in the second half. He never returned to the game for the Cardinals, who were already missing Andretti Stevens due to a one-game suspension.
Mapua, however, could not be denied as it raced to an early 29-7 lead to cruise to the win.
JJ Domingo and Jonathan Grey had 14 points each for the Blazers, who dropped to a 2-6 win-loss slate.
Mapua (76) - Oraeme 19, Menina 13, Nimes 11, Aguirre 7, Isit 6, Raflores 6, Biteng 4, Que 3, Nieles 3, Villasenor 2, Brana 2, Serrano 0, Layug 0, Dela Rosa 0.
CSB (64) - J. Domingo 14, Grey 14, Nayve 12, Fajarito 10, San Juan 6, Ongteco 4, Jonson 2, Deles 2, S. Domingo 0, Sta. Maria 0, Castor 0, Saavedra 0, Flores 0, Young 0.
Quarterscores: 29-7; 47-27; 67-38; 76-64.