NCAA basketball

LPU ties Mapua at No. 1; EAC eliminates Letran from Final Four contention

Martin Mendoza

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LPU ties Mapua at No. 1; EAC eliminates Letran from Final Four contention

ON TARGET. Lyceum's Patrick Montano in action against Mapua.

NCAA-GMA SPORTS

LPU survives a 25-point explosion by Clint Escamis to tie Mapua at first place, while EAC officially boots out defending champion Letran in NCAA Season 99

MANILA, Philippines – The LPU Pirates forged a two-way tie at the top spot in the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball tournament after emerging victorious against the Mapua Cardinals, 86-82, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre on Friday, November 3. 

LPU guard Patrick Montaño was on target from long distance as he knocked down four of his five three-point attempts to lead the Pirates with 18 points. 

Big man Shawn Umali backstopped Montaño with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while John Bravo and Vince Cunanan also scored in double-digits with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Do-it-all guard Clint Escamis, meanwhile, carried the fight for the Cardinals with a game-high 25 points on 8-of-16 field goal clip, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.

After Mapua trailed by as many as 19 points midway through the third quarter, 44-63, it was Escamis who took over and single-handedly pulled the Cardinals back within striking distance, 79-82, with 38 seconds left in the game.

LPU’s Renz Villegas then sank three free throws on the other end to give the Pirates a two-possession advantage, before Escamis once again responded with a cold-blooded trey to cut the lead back to 3 points, 82-85, with 29.7 ticks to play. 

Unfortunately for Escamis and the rest of the Cardinals, Alvin Penafiel sealed the deal for the Pirates in the following possession with a free throw, which settled the final score at 86-82. 

With the hard-fought victory, LPU improved its record to 9-3 – tied with Mapua. 

Meanwhile, the EAC Generals officially eliminated the defending champion Letran Knights from Final Four contention with a dominant 82-69 win in the first game of the day. 

The Knights had no answers for the Generals’ twin towers of JP Maguliano and Nat Cosejo, who dropped 20 and 18 points, respectively.

The two big men also dominated the boards as Maguliano grabbed 9 rebounds, while Cosejo collected 10.

On the other side, Kobe Monje paced Letran with 14 points and 7 rebounds. 

EAC, which played without its head coach Jerson Cabiltes, hiked its record to 7-5, while Letran fell to 1-11.  

The Scores

First Game

EAC 82 – Maguliano 20, Cosejo 18, Robin 16, Ochavo 9, Luciano 6, Quinal 5, Loristo 4, Gurtiza 2, Villaflor 2, Tolentino 0, Angeles 0, Bacud 0, Balowa 0, Umpad 0.

Letran 69 – Monje 14, Santos 10, Reyson 9, Cuajao 8, Nunag 6, Bojorcelo 5, Garupil 5, Briilliantes 4, Batallier 4, Ariar 2, Fajardo 2, Bautista 0, Go 0, Jumao-as 0.

Quarters: 26-13, 46-39, 68-53, 82-69.

Second Game

LPU 86 – Montano 18, Umali 17, Bravo 12, Cunanan 10, Villegas 8, Valdez 7, Guadana 6, Omandac 4, Penafiel 4, Barba 0, Aviles 0, Fuentes 0.

Mapua 82 – Escamis 25, Soriano 13, Cuenco 11, Bonifacio 9, Rosillo 8, Dalisay 6, Recto 4, Bancale 4, Asuncion 2, Hernandez 0, Fornis 0. 

Quarters: 20-26, 48-40, 69-57, 86-82. 

– Rappler.com 

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