Mapua’s junior basketball team is making up for the dismal campaign so far of its senior counterparts in the NCAA basketball tournament.
The Red Robins banked on a fiery start to repulse Emilio Aguinaldo College Brigadiers, 101-86, last night for their fourth straight victory in the juniors division at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Justin Serrano fired 26 points and grabbed six boards, joining forces with Ronne Villasenor and Dennel Aguirre to lead the Red Robins, who actually nailed their sixth victory in nine games.
While the Cardinals are languishing at the cellar in the seniors’ division, winning just one of their first eight games, the Robins are now in a three-way tie for third spot with St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills and Jose Rizal U.
Mapua’s woes continued in the seniors division as the Cardinals lost an 89-80 decision to Emilio Aguinaldo later in the game.
Noube Happi came out with a monster performance for the Generals, piling up 17 points and grabbing 20 rebounds.
While Mapua continued its tumble under new coach Atoy Co, EAC climbed to a tie for fifth with idle San Sebastian as the first round of action came to a close.
San Beda, seeking a fifth straight crown, leads the standings after pulling off a nine-game sweep of the first round with the San Sebastian Staglets in second with an 8-1 slate.
Looking to follow up victories over St. Benilde, Letran and Perpetual Help, the Robins came out firing on all cylinders, racing to a 23-13 advantage in the first 10 minutes of the match.
Staying relentless, the Robins, with Serrano, doing most of the damage inside the paint, stormed beyond recall heading into the final period with a 25-point buffer.
Villasenor wound up with 14 points and six boards, while Aguirre finished with 13 points and eight boards for the Robins, who held a 54-44 rebounding edge.
Ariel Aguilar and John Dutra had 15 points each for EAC which dropped to a 1-8 record.
MAPUA 101—Serrano 26, Villasenor 14, Aguirre 13, Pascua 12, Cabural 8, Victoria 6, Lugo 6, Calderon 6, Velvez 4, Concepcion 4, Russel 2, Mumar 0, Magpayo 0, Rivera 0.
EAC 86—Aguilar 15, Dultra 15, A. Piopongco 14, J. Piopongco 12, Alafriz 8, Redido 8, Fandialan 7, Rafael 4, Bacarisa 3, Palileo 0, Escala 0.
Quarters: 28-13, 55-33, 79-54, 101-86