NCAA: Mapua posts 2nd straight win, stuns CSB
Mapua hung on to upset College of St. Benilde, 86-83, in the NCAA Season 94 men’s basketball tournament Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Laurenz Victoria came through in the clutch anew and finished with a team-high 16 points on top of six rebounds and six assists to lead the Cardinals to their first back-to-back wins since Season 92 where they went 12-6 and made the Final Four as the third seed behind Allwell Oraeme.
The Cardinals, who had five players in double-figure scoring, improved to 4-8, surpassing their win total last season.
“That’s good news but we have to win more,” said Mapua head coach Atoy Co.
Victoria, who buried the last-second basket to lift Mapua over Jose Rizal University last Thursday, hit an acrobatic drive before finding big man Warren Bonifacio for a jumper to clinch the game, 84-80, with 33.3 seconds left.
“I just try to get enough strength to help my team win,” Victoria said in Filipino.
Aside from Victoria, Justin Serrano also stepped up for the Cardinals in the crucial stages, scoring eight of his 12 points in the final frame. Serrano came into the game averaging only 5.3 points per outing.
Bonifacio scored 12 points, Noah Lugo added 11 while Cedric Pelayo chipped in 10 before fouling out with 5:22 remaining.
Justin Gutang topped all scorers with 22 points that went with nine rebounds, six assists and two steals for the Blazers, who dropped their second consecutive game after losing to the San Sebastian Stags exactly a week ago in a game where Gutang’s last-second layup was nullified after a review.
With the loss, CSB slipped to fourth at 7-5 while giving idle Letran sole possession of third place with a half-game lead in the standings.
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