NCAA basketball

Mapua pushes NCAA champ Letran near brink of elimination; LPU nips EAC

JR Isaga

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Mapua pushes NCAA champ Letran near brink of elimination; LPU nips EAC

PLAYOFF FORM. Mapua guard Clint Escamis attempts a jump shot over the Letran defense in the NCAA Season 99 men's basketball tournament

GMA Sports PH

Top NCAA Season 99 men's basketball contender Mapua with MVP contender Clint Escamis rallies past lackluster defending champion Letran, which nears elimination with its 10th loss in 11 games

MANILA, Philippines – The Mapua Cardinals proved once again why they rule the roost in the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball standings, as they completed a 69-66 comeback win over three-time defending champion Letran Knights at the FilOil EcoOil Centre on Saturday, October 28.

Early MVP candidate Clint Escamis led the rally from 11 points down in the first half with 21 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block as Mapua rose to a 9-2 record while dropping Letran to a 1-10 slate and a step near elimination.

Jopet Soriano added 14 points and 6 boards in the win as Warren Bonifacio bucked a 1-of-10 shooting day with a full line of 8 points on 6-of-7 free throws, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, and 1 steal.

Letran lead guard Kurt Reyson paced yet another collapse with 17 points in just 20 minutes off the bench, albeit with 5 turnovers and no assists, while Deo Cuajao added 12 points, 5 boards, 2 dimes, 2 steals, and 1 block.

Meanwhile, the LPU Pirates rose to solo second place with an 8-2 record after an 81-78 escape over the feisty EAC Generals.

Not having top star Enoch Valdez for the day, the Pirates leaned heavily on Jearlan Omandac, who made the most of his 20-minute leash off the bench with a game-high 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting and 5-of-9 from three, to go with 9 rebounds.

Renz Villegas scattered 13 points, 8 boards, and 7 assists with no turnovers, as Nat Cosejo paced the losing cause with 23 points and 11 rebounds.

Kyle Ochavo churned out 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 dimes as dark horse contender EAC dropped to a 6-5 slate.

The Scores

First Game

LPU 81 – Omandac 24, Villegas 13, Penafiel 12, Umali 8, Cunanan 7, Barba 7, Fuentes 4, Bravo 2, Guadana 2, Montano 2, Aviles 0.

EAC 78 – Cosejo 23, Ochavo 21, Maguliano 13, Gurtiza 5, Tolentino 5, Quinal 5, Angeles 3, Doria 2, Umpad 1, Robin 0, Luciano 0, Loristo 0, Bacud 0.

Quarters: 26-20; 42-43; 60-54; 81-78.

Second Game

Mapua 69 – Escamis 21, Soriano 14, Bonifacio 8, Hernandez 5, Cuenco 5, Recto 5, Rodillo 4, Dalisay 3, Bancale 2, Fornis 2, Asuncion 0, Igliane 0.

Letran 66 – Reyson 17, Cuajao 12, Ariar 11, Jumao-as 10, Batallier 4, Bojorcelo 4, Monje 4, Santos 2, Javillonar 2, Garupil 0, Go 0.

Quarters: 15-17; 31-38; 50; 54; 69-66.

– Rappler.com

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