Cardinals try to stop bleeding; undermanned Knights battle Lions | Inquirer Sports
NCAA HOOPS

Cardinals try to stop bleeding; undermanned Knights battle Lions

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 05:10 AM September 30, 2022
FILE–Mapua Cardinals Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

FILE–Mapua Cardinals. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

After a string of three defeats early in the elimination round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, it’s easy to understand why Mapua would be hitting the panic button.

And it’s that uneasy state of mind that could be the Cardinals’ most valuable weapon on the way to a steep climb.

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Veteran guard Paolo Hernandez admitted that the Cardinals have switched to a panic standpoint after dropping their third straight game—and fourth in five games overall—in a bitter defeat to defending champion Letran on Tuesday.

With their everything-to-lose mindset, the Cardinals aim to reverse the trend against Jose Rizal Friday at 12 noon at Filoil EcoOil Centre.

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The three-peat-seeking Knights could also be in a sort of panic mode as they collide with their bitter rival San Beda Red Lions in the 3 p.m. contest minus Brent Paraiso and Mark Sangalang, who will be serving out one-game suspensions.

Currently in third spot with a 3-1 record, the Knights will be missing their top scorer in Paraiso and top rebounder in Sangalang when they shoot for a share of the lead with idle St. Benilde and Lyceum.

“It’s difficult to get up if you are deep down in the standings. I have to admit we’re in panic mode,” said Hernandez.

The Cardinals flashed the might that brought them to the finals last season by defeating mighty San Beda in the opener, only to drop their next three games.

On the other end, the Heavy Bombers have two victories in four games, capped by a come-from-behind 70-67 win over Arellano a week ago.

“Anything can still happen, we must have faith and grind it all out in our succeeding games,” said Hernandez.

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TAGS: Cardinals, Letran, NCAA men’s basketball
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