Escamis shines as Red Robins foil Greenies, arrange winner-take-all Game 3
MANILA, Philippines – The Mapua University Red Robins relied on Clint Escamis’ fourth quarter heroics to keep their title-retention bid alive following a 91-81 win over the La Salle Green Hills Greenies in Game 2 of the best-of-3 NCAA Season 93 boys’ basketball finals at the Araneta Coliseum Thursday, November 16.
Escamis poured in 10 of his game-high 25 points in the payoff period to keep the Red Robins afloat against the surging Greenies, who erased a 13-point deficit and tied the game at 67-all heading into the final period.
Mapua did not face much problems amid Most Valuable Player Will Gozum’s early fourth quarter exit due to foul trouble as Escamis scored 6 points in an 11-1 run that gave the Red Robins 78-68 lead.
The Greenies went within 5 points, 81-86, thanks to a Joshua Marcos triple with 1:23 left in the game but Escamis, who also had 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and 1 block, converted back-to-back layups to prevent the comeback.
“Sinabi ko lang na stay aggressive, possession by possession, wag nating madaliin. Ganoon ‘yung naging problema namin noong Game 1 eh,” said Mapua coach Randy Alcantara. “Siguro mas gusto namin ngayon, mas malaki ‘yung puso ng mga naglaro ngayon.”
(I just told the players to stay aggressive and not to rush the game since that became our problem in Game 1. Maybe we just wanted it more and they played with more heart today.)
Warren Bonifacio made his presence felt with 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Red Robins while Erick Jabel added 17 points, highlighted by 3 straight buckets in the last period, 7 boards and 4 assists and was plus-17 the whole game.
The Greenies were down by 9 points at the start of the third period, 46-55, before tying the game at 67-all behind Joel Cagulangan’s back-to-back triples.
Cagulangan had a team-high 16 points, 9 assists and 3 rebounds but shot a dismal 31 percent and committed 10 turnovers. Marcos and Joshua David conjoined for 24 points and 14 rebounds.
Game 3 will be on Tuesday, Nov. 21, at the same venue.
Mapua (91): Escamis 25, Bonifacio 18, Jabel 17, Gozum 10, Garcia 8, Enriquez 6, Lacap 4, Dennison 3, Ramos 0, Sarias 0, Socias 0
LSGH (81): Cagulangan 16, David 12, Marcos 12, Lepalam 10, Mosqueda 9, Perez 9, Sangco 5, Morales 4, Lao 4, Belgica 0, Pedrosa 0, Dela Cruz 0, Cruz 0
Quarter scores: 25-19, 55-46, 67-67, 91-81