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Cards dominate over Generals, 73-67

Article by: Lea Ysabel Q. Evangelista and Alexandra Isabelle G. Delavin
Graphics by: Cassius Klai C. Francisco and Kristin Clarisse H. Mateo

Last March 27, the Mapúa Cardinals secured their first win in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 97 after battling against the Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) Generals with a 73-67 finish at La Salle Green Hills.

The first quarter began with the red and gold team in full throttle as they kept the ball at their side of the court. Dubbed as a revelation in the game, Cardinals’ shooting guard Adrian Clarence Nocum scored three fast-break layups in this quarter alone as he escaped the opponents’ tight defense time and again, earning a five-point advantage for the Mapúa ballers, 21-16.

Though both teams had strong offensive plays, neither yielded as they protected their respective posts with multiple defensive stops. This continued to the second quarter as the heated exchange of baskets left and right ended in a neck and neck battle, 32-32.

Nocum, with a career-high of 20 points and five rebounds, led the charge during the first half but was later pulled out of the game due to cramps after a playing time of 24 minutes and 52 seconds.

As the third quarter rolled out, the Generals made it their mission to break the tie between the two teams, pushing through Cardinal barriers whose defenses momentarily wavered. The quarter ended with a four-point deficit for the Intramuros team, 47-51.

With seven minutes left in the last quarter, the Generals led by nine points, 51-60. Refusing to back down, the Cards jostled to regain their momentum as shooting guard Carl Brian Lacap executed back-to-back treys. Alongside Team Captain Warren Bonifacio, they forced a 63-64 score during the last three minutes of the game. From then on, the Cards stopped at nothing as the two players rallied up 21 points within the fourth quarter, resulting in a come-from-behind win against the Generals, 73-67.

At the end of the game, Nocum took the lead with 20 points and five rebounds, followed by Lacap who chipped in 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists, and forward Arvin Gamboa who marked 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists.

Meanwhile, Generals Kriss Gurtiza poured in 21 points and 4 rebounds with Allen Liwag trailing behind with 16 points and 8 rebounds, and Marwin Taywan scored 13 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 assists.

In a post-game interview, Cards Head Coach Randy Alcantara stated that despite suffering from cramps during the early game, the team pulled through and finished strong. “.. kung sino gamitin mo, talagang ibibigay naman nila yung best nila kaya siguro maganda yung execution namin nung huli," he added.

After capping off the NCAA Season 97 opening weekend with a bang, the Cards will attempt to disarm the Jose Rizal University (JRU) Heavy Bombers on April 1, 2022, 3:00 PM, at the same venue. The succeeding games will air on GTV with live streaming on the social media platforms of NCAA Philippines and GMA Sports PH.

The Scores:
MU 73 – Nocum 20, Lacap 14, Gamboa 8, Bonifacio 7, Agustin 7, Pido 5, Hernandez 5, Sual 5, Asuncion 1, Garcia 1, Mercado 0, Soriano 0, Udal 0
EAC 67 – Gurtiza 21, Liwag 16, Taywan 13, Robin 9, Cadua 3, Fuentes 3, Umpad 2, Doria, Adam 0, Luciano 0, Doria, Andrey 0, Cosa 0, Bunyi 0, Maguliano 0
Quarter Scores: 21-16, 32-32, 47-51, 73-67

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