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NCAA: Mapua ends 3-game skid

By Kristel Satumbaga

Games Tuesday
(The Arena, San Juan City)
10 a.m. – Letran vs SSCR (Jrs)
12 noon – Perpetual vs EAC (Jrs)
2 p.m. – Letran vs SSCR (Srs)
4 p.m. – Perpetual vs EAC (Srs)

Mapua snapped a three-game losing run with an 80-67 thumping off Emilio Aguinaldo College in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

The Cardinals relied on a strong fourth quarter anchored on Noah Lugo and Laurenz Victoria to pull away from a tight 52-50 lead on the way to a big win.

Lugo and Victoria combined for 19 points in the final period to finish with 18 and 15 points.

The duo also teamed up for seven rebounds, 10 assists and five steals.

Though already out of Final Four contention, Mapua played aggressively on both ends to clinch its fifth win against 11 defeats.

Victoria said their defense made the difference.

“Coach (Atoy Co) said our offense will follow if we got great defense,” said Victoria in Filipino.

EAC absorbed its 12th defeat in 16 games despite Hamadou Laminou scoring 21 points and 13 rebounds and JP Maguilano finishing with 15 points and six boards.

In juniors play, last year’s finalist Mapua squeaked past EAC, 74-73, to boost its bid for a twice-to-beat semis incentive.

Paolo Hernandez had 18 points and Jonnel Policarpio added 13 points and 16 rebounds as the Red Robins hiked its record to 12-4 for second.

Adrian Balowa finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds in a losing effort for the Brigadiers, who fell to 3-13.

The Jose Rizal University Light Bombers, meanwhile, strengthened its Final Four campaign with a 75-73 triumph over the Arellano Braves for 10-6 at fourth.

The Braves slipped to 6-9.