NCAA basketball

HIGHLIGHTS: Mapua vs San Beda, NCAA Season 99 finals Game 1 – December 6

Martin Mendoza

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HIGHLIGHTS: Mapua vs San Beda, NCAA Season 99 finals Game 1 – December 6

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The Mapua Cardinals inch closer to ending their three-decade title drought after dispatching the San Beda Red Lions in Game 1 of the NCAA finals

The Mapua Cardinals survived the San Beda Red Lions’ late outburst, 68-63, in Game 1 of the NCAA men’s basketball finals to move within a win of their first crown in 32 years.  

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Fourth quarter
  • FINAL: Mapua holds off San Beda’s furious fourth-quarter comeback, 68-63, to draw first blood in their best-of-three finals series
  • MAPUA 68-63: Clint Escamis likely seals the deal with two clutch free throws
  • MAPUA 66-63: Oliver Tagle knocks down two free throws to cut Mapua’s lead to just a single possession
  • MAPUA 66-61: Oliver Tagle with a huge three for San Beda
  • MAPUA 66-58: Ryle Rosillo floats it in
  • MAPUA 64-58: Jacob Cortez responds with three straight hits from the line
  • MAPUA 64-55: Clint Escamis with a booming triple
  • MAPUA 61-55: 7-0 run for San Beda as James Payosing banks in a layup
  • MAPUA 61-53: Jacob Cortez fires and hits from deep
  • MAPUA 61-50: James Payosing cleans up Yukien Andrada’s miss
  • MAPUA 61-48: Paolo Hernandez now with 16 points after another layup
Third quarter
  • END OF 3Q: Mapua slowly pulls away from San Beda with a 59-48 edge
  • MAPUA 59-48: Jacob Cortez swishes a long three-pointer to beat the buzzer
  • MAPUA 59-45: Jacob Cortez stops San Beda’s drought with a tough finish inside
  • MAPUA 59-43: Jopet Soriano hits two free throws
  • MAPUA 57-43: Paolo Hernandez nails a stepback jumper
  • MAPUA 55-43: Paolo Hernandez keeps it going with a step-through layup
  • MAPUA 53-43: Clint Escamis pushes Mapua’s lead back to double figures with a smooth jumper
  • MAPUA 51-43: James Payosing scores off a feed by Jacob Cortez
  • MAPUA 51-41: Jacob Cortez splits from the line
  • MAPUA 51-40: Clint Escamis stops and pops for a mid-range jumper
  • MAPUA 49-40: Paolo Hernandez extends Mapua’s lead to its biggest at 9 points with three charities
  • MAPUA 46-40: Yukien Andrada finds the cutting James Payosing for the layup
  • MAPUA 46-38: Paolo Hernandez drains a tough long bomb
  • MAPUA 43-38: Ryle Rosillo scores again
  • MAPUA 41-38: Clifford Jopia with an easy undergoal stab
  • MAPUA 41-36: Clint Escamis sinks his first triple of the game
  • MAPUA 38-36: Ryle Rosillo and James Payosing exhange layups
  • MAPUA 36-34: Yukien Andrada opens the half with a trey
First half performers
  • Ryle Rosillo (MAPUA) – 9 points
  • Clint Escamis (MAPUA) – 6 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
  • Warren Bonifacio (MAPUA) – 6 points
  • Jomel Puno (SAN BEDA) – 12 points
  • Clifford Jopia (SAN BEDA) – 6 points, 5 rebounds
  • Yukien Andrada (SAN BEDA) – 5 points
Second quarter
  • HALFTIME: Mapua ends the second quarter on a fiery 9-0 run for a 36-31 lead over San Beda
  • MAPUA 36-31: Clint Escamis with back-to-back hits
  • MAPUA 32-31: Rosillo goes 1/2 from the line
  • 31-31: Clit Escamis finally gets on the board for Mapua with two free throws
  • SAN BEDA 31-29: Paolo Hernandez takes it strong inside for a wide-open finish
  • SAN BEDA 31-27: Marc Cuenco responds with an up-and-under layup
  • SAN BEDA 31-25: Jomel Puno soars high for a deuce
  • SAN BEDA 29-25: Paolo Hernandez steps back for a jumper
  • SAN BEDA 29-23: Warren Bonifacio knocks down two from the stripe
  • SAN BEDA 29-21: 6-0 run for San Beda as James Payosing finishes inside
  • SAN BEDA 27-21: Damie Cuntapay fakes and scores
  • SAN BEDA 25-21: Warren Bonifacio and Jomel Puno trade twos
  • SAN BEDA 23-19: James Payosing drills two free throws
  • SAN BEDA 21-19: Jomel Puno converts off a tough layup
  • 19-19: Jomel Puno and JC Recto exchange baskets
First quarter
  • END OF 1Q: Mapua and San Beda figure in a 17-all deadlock
  • 17-17: Warren Bonifacio attacks and scores, Yukien Andrada quickly answers with a long bomb
  • MAPUA 15-14: Jomel Puno banks in a short stab
  • MAPUA 15-12: Alex Visser sinks two charities
  • MAPUA 15-10: Jopet Soriano tips in the miss
  • MAPUA 13-10: Jomel Puno goes 2/2 from the line
  • MAPUA 13-8: Marc Cuenco nails two free throws
  • MAPUA 11-8: Ryle Rosillo swishes from downtown
  • 8-8: Clifford Jopia finishes again inside
  • MAPUA 8-6: Ryle Rosillo with an easy two off a feed by Clint Escamis
  • 6-6: Ryle Rosillo splits from the line
  • SAN BEDA 6-5: Back-to-back layups for Clifford Jopia
  • MAPUA 5-4: Clifford Jopia scores off a putback
  • MAPUA 5-2: JC Recto cashes in from deep
  • 2-2: Yukien Andrada gets San Beda on the board with a floater
  • MAPUA 2-0: Ryle Rosillo starts things off with a scoop shot
  • SAN BEDA: Peter Alfaro, James Payosing, Clifford Jopia, Yukien Andrada, Jacob Cortez
  • MAPUA: Clint Escamis, Ryle Rosillo, Warren Bonifacio, JC Recto, Marc Cuenco

And then there were two. 

After beating their respective Final Four opponents, the Mapua Cardinals and the San Beda Red Lions now shift their focus on one another as they lock horns in a best-of-three finals series in the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball tournament beginning on Wednesday, December 6, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Both teams are riding on red-hot winning streaks coming into Game 1 on Wednesday as the Cardinals won their last seven games, while the Red Lions emerged victorious in their last six matches.  

Armed with a twice-to-beat playoff bonus, the league-leading Cardinals quickly eliminated the fourth-seeded College of St. Benilde Blazers in their Final Four encounter on November 28, 78-67, to book a finals ticket for the second time in three seasons.

Mapua last entered the finals in Season 97, where it suffered a two-game sweep at the hands of the Letran Knights. 

Meanwhile, it took two playoff games for the Red Lions to reach the big stage for the first time since 2019 as they had to overcome a twice-to-beat disadvantage against the No. 2 LPU Pirates.

With both teams looking to end their respective title-drought, all eyes will be on the backcourt matchup between Mapua’s top MVP candidate Clint Escamis and San Beda’s spitfire point guard Jacob Cortez. 

Escamis has been nothing short of spectacular for Mapua this season, stuffing the stat sheet in almost all of the Cardinals’ matches with elimination round averages of 16.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and a whopping 3.8 steals.

The 5-foot-11 guard Escamis is coming off another all-around showing in Mapua’s semifinal win over CSB, putting up 21 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. 

On that same day, Cortez erupted for a career-high 28 points on 9-of-11 field goal clip, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 steals in San Beda’s 89-69 rout of LPU to force a rubber match.

Aside from Escamis, look for Paolo Hernandez, Warren Bonifacio, Marc Cuenco, and Jopet Soriano, among others, to step up to the plate for the Cardinals as they pursue their first championship since 1991. 

On the other side, count on Jomel Puno, James Payosing, and Yukien Andrada to backstop Cortez and rise to the challenge as the once-mighty Red Lions seek to recapture their old glory and bring the title back to Mendiola after five years.  

Game time is 2 pm. –

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