EAC ends losing skid, cruises to easy win over Mapua

Jane Bracher

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John Tayongtong led EAC with 23 points and 5 assists as the Generals halt their 5-gam losing streak with a win over the Mapua Cardinals

The Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals ended their losing streak with a win over Mapua

MANILA, Philippines – The Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) Generals finally arrested their 5-game losing slide by way of an 89-78 triumph over the Mapua Cardinals in the men’s basketball tournament of NCAA Season 90 on Monday, August 4 at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan. 

The Generals came out on a mission against the Cardinals, immediately erecting a 24-12 lead by the end of the first. Mapua, however, managed to keep it to within 43-33 at the break.  

EAC relied on their aggressiveness in attacking the rim to keep Mapua at bay. The now 2-5 Generals had a total of 38 attempts from the free throw line and connected on 27 of those. They also crashed the boards, 52-47.  

According to head coach Gerry Esplana, his team’s aggressiveness was the key difference in this game compared to the previous 5 straight losses they suffered.  

“What’s very clear is their aggressiveness. They stuck to the system and game plan,” he said.  

Despite Mapua’s attempts at overturning EAC’s edge, they never really threatened until midway in the fourth when they came to within 66-60.  

But Jan Jamon was on fire in the fourth and came to the rescue right away with a triple to push EAC’s lead back up to 69-60. 

Jamon, who posted 21 points with 12 of those coming in the fourth along with 9 rebounds, delivered the dagger and-one play with 1:05 left, 81-70, which crushed Mapua’s hopes of a come-from-behind victory.  

“Luckily we had this big cushion,” Esplana said. 

“Any team can bounce back. That’s what happened to Mapua. They will not just roll down and die. Bumalik sila. Kailangan lang namin protektahan yung lead namin.” (They came back. We just needed to protect our lead. We have to improve on our killer instinct.)

EAC won the game despite turning the ball over more times than Mapua, 25-15, and having less assists than their counterparts, 13-20.  

John Tayongtong led all Generals with 23 markers on 8-of-16 field goals to go with his 5 assists and 3 steals.  

Sidney Onwubere and Noube Happi were rebounding machines for EAC with 15 and 12 boards, respectively.  

Happi clocked in 17 markers as well while Onwubere had 10.  

“I like the way they played today, aggressive. Yun talaga yung EAC,” remarked Esplana. (That’s the real EAC.) 

“Yung mga inaasahan ko nag-deliver. Sidney (Onwubere) had 15 rebounds. Si Jamon is the Jamon na kilala ko. Happi stepped up.” (The guys I rely on delivered. Sidney had 15 rebounds. Jamon is the Jamon that I know. Happi stepped up.) 

Meanwhile, Mapua’s Joseph Eriobu led his team with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Exeqiel Biteng and Carlos Isit added 16 and 12 markers, respectively.  

The Cardinals’ woes continue to worsen this season as they couldn’t build on their huge upset win over the San Sebastian Stags exactly a week ago. Mapua started this season at 0-6 before getting that win and are now back to another loss for a 1-7 slate.  

Esplana, on the other hand, hopes his Generals will respond differently after breaking out of their slump. 

“Isa sa mga sinasabi ko sa kanila, ‘We’re down but we’re not yet out. Ang fate natinnasa mga kamay pa natin. Wala pa tayo sa posisyon na nagdadasal tayo sa ilalaro ng ibang schools,'” he said. (One of the things I tell them is ‘We’re down but we’re not yet out. Our fate is still in our hands. We are not yet in a position where we have to pray for how the other schools will play.’) 

“I hope this will be a start of a turnaround. Hopefully, we can build on this win against Mapua.” 

Esplana is also confident that this one win is enough to boost his team’s confidence and morale heading into their next game against the JRU Heavy Bombers.  

“Sa game kasi kahit anong pangit (ng laro) mo, isang maganda lang nababawi mo na, tumataas na agad yung morale mo. Sana madala nila ito sa next game namin.” 

(In a game, no matter how ugly you play, you just need one game to get it back, and your morale recovers. I hope we take this with us to our next game.)


EAC (89): Tayongtong 23, Jamon 21, Happi 17, Onwubere 10, Aguilar 8, Arquero 4, Mejos 3, Santos 2, Pascual 1, Serrano 0. 

Mapua (78): Eriobu 19, Biteng 16, Isit 12, Gabo 9, Estrella 7, Saitanan 6, Serrano 5, Cantos 4, Canaynay 0, Layug 0, Galoso 0, Villasenor 0. 

Quarter scores: 24-12, 43-33, 61-54, 89-78.


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