MAPUA held Emilio Aguinaldo College to just nine points in the first quarter and dominated throughout for an 80-55 victory in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on Saturday at The Arena in San Juan.
It was almost all Cardinals if not for a mini streak that saw the Generals score 10 unanswered points midway through the fourth quarter to make it 46-68, but that wasn’t enough to erase the huge lead that Mapua had built.
The Cardinals took a 21-point lead in the second half, 43-22, and the Intramuros-based squad extended the lead to 36 after Kenneth Ighalo sparked a 16-2 run in a nine-minute stretch in the third.
“Our strength is our defense,” said Mapua coach Chito Victolero. “We had a game plan against Happi and their shooters, I’m happy that we stepped up today.”
EAC’s Cameroonian import Noube Happi made nine points and hauled down 11 boards.
Mark Braña came up with 15 points, Mike Parala had a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds, Ighalo finished with 12 points and Gabriel Banal chipped in 10 markers for Mapua, which improved to five wins against seven losses.
The Cardinals played well as a team and dished out 19 assists compared EAC’s 10. Mapua also converted 14 second chance points from their 20 offensive boards.
Remy Morada led the Generals with 16 points, including four triples, while Igee King contributed 11. EAC suffered their eighth loss in 12 games.
Mapua (80) - Braña 15, Ighalo 12, Parala 10, G. Banal 10, Nimes 9, J. Banal 6, Eriobu 6, Saitanan 6, Cantos 2, Chien 2, Magsigay 2, Stevens 0, Abad 0.
EAC (55) - Morada 16, King 11, Happi 9, Paguia 5, Yaya 4, Munsayac 4, Monteclaro 3, Pillas 2, Jamon 1, Tayontong 0, Chiong 0, Sanchez 0, Acebron 0.
Quarterscores: 18-9; 43-22; 59-32; 80-55.