MAPUA'S first and only victory so far in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament came at the expense of San Sebastian in the first round.
Can the Cardinals finally end their drought when they face the Golden Stags anew on Saturday at The Arena in San Juan?
The Stags hope their first-round tormentors, who have since gone downhill with nine straight losses, won't replicate the feat in their second-round meeting set at 4 p.m.
The Cardinals had the Stags’ number in the first round when they hacked out a 104-99 victory in a pulsating overtime match that saw Mapua rally from a huge 20-point deficit before showing steely nerves in the extra period.
“We don’t want it to be a déjà vu na we’re winning and then we (folded),” Stags coach Topex Robinson said. “We’ll make sure we’ve learned from our mistakes.”
The Stags, seeking a seventh victory in 12 games that will strengthen their hold of the fourth and final semifinal spot, remain wary of the slumping Cardinals, who are at the bottom of the 10-team standings with 10 losses in 11 games.
“We will have the same mindset on playing Mapua just like how we play (leaders) San Beda or Letran,” Robinson said.