AN undermanned Mapua Institute of Technology hopes to start a winning streak on Monday when it battles Emilio Aguinaldo College in the 88th NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
Despite missing Gab Banal, Joseph Eriobu, Jessie Saitanan, and Mark Brana for the second straight game, the Cardinals finally made it to the win column last Thursday, beating College of St. Benilde, 64-55.
The four prized rookies are still suspended by the league because of a residency technicality. The policy board will make a decision regarding their eligibility on Tuesday.
Mike Parala emerged as the unlikely source of points down the stretch against the Blazers as the defensive-oriented slotman scored eight of his 12 points in the last two minutes to help the Cardinals notch the victory.
Mapua hopes its co-captain along with Josan Nimes, who had 21 points and eight boards against Benilde, would continue their strong showings for the squad when it collides with the Generals at 6 p.m.
Cardinals coach Chito Victolero hopes his wards would do well on the boards against the Generals, who have rebounding machine Cedric Happi Noube, who had a game-high 26 points and 14 rebounds in the Generals’ 83-81 loss to Lyceum of the Philippines University last Saturday.
“Sana ma-sustain namin ang rebounding,” Victolero said.
Aside from Happi Noube, the Generals will be counting on Jan Jamon and Russell Yaya to help them recover from their second loss of the season.
Letran and College of St. Benilde collide at 4 p.m. hoping to bounce back from losses.
The Knights, missing three of their finest big men in Raymond Almazan (fever), Jonathan Belorio, and Jam Cortes (ejections), lost to Arellano, 77-67, last Saturday .
The Blazers, who lost to Mapua, hope to play more organized basketball versus the Knights.
“The important thing for us is to play disciplined basketball so that we can execute our game plan,” Blazers coach Richard del Rosario said.