MU Cardinals 91 – AU Chiefs 83
The Arellano Chiefs showcased plenty of grit in the fourth quarter, but the Mapua Cardinals did just enough to notch their second win for NCAA Season 94.
The Cardinals led by as much as 18 points versus the Chiefs, banking on a balanced attack led by big man Christian Bunag. But Arellano, led by Levi Dela Cruz, did not allow themselves to be overwhelmed by the early rampage Mapua threw at them for the first three quarters. They remained aggressive, and eventually clawed back in the fourth quarter to cut the lead down to five with three minutes left on the clock.
At the end of the day, Mapua remained composed amidst the madness, and took control of things with a mini run of their own. Aside from Christian Bunag who put up a double double (16 points and 10 rebounds), four other Cardinals put up double digits to help in the winning cause. Levi Dela Cruz (25 points, 6/7 3FG) put on a scorching performance for Arellano, but it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback.
CSB Blazers 81 – JRU Heavy Bombers 66
Coach TY Tang has continued to push for efficiency for his young squad. The season is young, the process towards that is tedious, but getting a convincing win versus the JRU Heavy Bombers was certainly a step in the right direction.
The game started out tight, with both teams trading jabs left and right with each other. Come the second half, the Blazers finally got some form of separation despite the efforts of the Bombers to pressure their attack. The fire power of the Blazers proved to be too much come the end, with the lead ballooning by as much as 17 points.
Clement Leutcheu led the way for the Blazers, putting up an efficient 20 points and 14 rebounds on just 7/9 shooting. Yankie Haruna was huge off the bench as well, scoring 15 points in the 13 minutes that he was on the floor. Jed Mendoza put up and all-around line of 16 points, five rebounds, six assists and four steals in the loss.
SBU Red Lions 61 – EAC Generals 46
The Red Lions were having an uncharacteristically bad day on the offensive end, shooting just 34 percent from the field and 47 percent from the free throw line. It was the type of performance that could have ended up in a loss. But champions find ways to win, and that’s precisely what the Red Lions did.
Shooting woes and all, the Red Lions locked up the EAC Generals, showing defensive intensity fit for a defending champion. Despite being down by seven points during the end of the first half, EAC was set for an explosion coming out of the break. A few games back, the Generals scored 39 points in a spirited third quarter rally versus Lyceum, cutting a 31 point lead into just three points.
The Red Lions weren’t having any of it. They locked up on the defensive end even harder, and did not allow the Generals to have any breathing room to make a run. San Beda may have just scored 61 points, but they limited EAC to just 46. They’re taking that, any day of the week.
Robert Bolick had 15 points and six assists to lead the Red Lions, while Donald Tankoua backed him up with nine points and 10 rebounds. Rustan Bugarin led the Generals off the bench with 10 points and 10 rebounds.