Cardinals hold off Heavy Bombers | Inquirer Sports

Cardinals hold off Heavy Bombers

Leo Esguerra of JRU screens off Mapua’s Denniel Aguirre. INQUIRER PHOTO/AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Mapua picked up its first win in the NCAA Season 94 men’s basketball tournament, holding off a late charge by Jose Rizal University, 72-60, Thursday at JRU gym.

Mapua used a seven-point spurt capped by free throws from Justin Serrano with 39.5 ticks to hand the Bombers their second loss in the tournament.


Before the Cardinals’ finishing kick, JRU had closed in, 65-60, after Jun Silvarez’s jumper at the 4:06 mark of the final period.

“What I like about this team is that everybody is ready to score,” said Mapua coach Atoy Co. “Everybody has to step up because we have no go-to guy on our team this season.”


Mapua’s bench clobbered JRU’s bench, 41-25, and was able to score 12 easy points off the Heavy Bomber’s 16 turnovers.

The Cardinals dominated in fastbreak points, 18-9.

Laurenz Victoria led the Cardinals with 11 points and seven rebounds while rookie Warren Bonifacio added 10 points and nine boards in his first NCAA senior’s game.

RJ David led all scorers with 12 points.

Jose Rizal pounced on the shooting woes of last year’s runner-up Mapua as it hammered out an 80-70 victory earlier in the day to jump to the early share of the lead in the juniors’ division.

Marwin Dionisio came off the bench to finish with a double-double effort with game-high 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Clint Escamis, the lone remaining starter from last season’s roster, got into foul trouble early, committing four fouls in the first half including three in the first quarter.

He finished with nine points, but was held scoreless in the second half.

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TAGS: Mapua Cardinals, NCAA Season 94 men's basketball, Rizal University
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