NCAA: Mapua vows no letup after finals return
MANILA, Philippines—Whether it be facing Lyceum or San Beda in the NCAA Finals, one thing is certain: Mapua will be “obsessed” with its preparations.
After advancing to the NCAA Season 99 Finals at the expense of College of St. Benilde, 78-67, Mapua guard Clint Escamis said the Cardinals don’t mind who their opponent is going to be in the championship round.
Escamis, who finished with 21 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals, said they were already all out in preparing against the Blazers in the Final Four alone, so what more in the Finals?
“Actually, whoever wins, we’ll prepare hard for. We will be obsessed with that team. Every day, we watched CSB films for this game,” said Escamis, the MVP frontrunner.
“Our aggressiveness and preparedness in practice are insane. It’s really on a different level now.”
Back in the Finals stage after missing the Final Four last season, the Cardinals are keenly watching the collision between the Red Lions and the Pirates, who hold a twice-to-beat advantage after finishing at No. 2.
A victory by San Beda forges a rubber match set on Friday, giving Mapua more time to rest and prepare.
“We still have an assignment. We’ll be waiting. The most important thing is for these players to recover their legs and their minds. Of course, the Finals is a physical and mental battle,” said coach Randy Alcantara.
Alcantara even poked fun at Escamis for missing three free throws.
“With regard to drills, maybe I’ll make this guy (Escamis) shoot 5,000 free throws.”
The last time Mapua reached the Finals was just two seasons ago when it got swept by Letran.