Salenga, Junsay key Mapua’s Game 1 victory.
Mapua-Malayan frustrated eight-peat seeking San Beda on both ends in the second half and pulled off a stunning 83-64 victory to move one step closer towards capturing the NCAA juniors basketball crown in the opener of the best-of-three finals yesterday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Jasper Salenga and Romuel Junsay scored nine points each in the third quarter before the rest clamped down on the Red Cubs behind their stingy defense in the payoff period to win the series opener in impressive fashion.
Salenga scored 17 points while Junsay added 15 points, five assists and three steals as Malayan won despite the absence of Mike Enriquez to a viral infection and moved a game shy of capturing the school’s first high school title since 2000.
The Red Robins are also eyeing their first championship since returning to the NCAA fold in 2008 when Mapua transferred its high school program to a separate campus in Paco.
But Malayan coach Randy Alcantara cautioned his team to expect a big fightback from San Beda, which had just one day rest after being pushed to a do-or-die match by Arellano U in the Final Four.
Two years ago, Malayan claimed Game 1 of the series against San Beda but lost the next two.
MAPUA 83 – Salenga 17, Junsay 15, Samudio 12, Escamis 12, Lacap 8, Gozum 7, Garcia 5, Dagta 3, Bonifacio 2, Ramos 2, Andaya 0.
SAN BEDA 64 – Tagala 11, Mahinay 10, Abu Hijle 7, Nayve 7, Nelle 6, Etrata 6, Obenza 5, Lagumen 4, Alfaro 4, De la Rosa 2, Garcia 2.
Quarters: 12-11; 31-33; 61-55; 83-64.