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Cards overpowered by Golden Stags, 68-92

Article by: Lea Ysabel Q. Evangelista, Vincent Andre B. Ramirez

Following a close game versus Perpetual, the Mapúa University (MU) Cardinals’ efforts fell short against the San Sebastian College-Recoletos (SSC-R) Golden Stags with a 68-92 finish at the FilOil Flying V Centre last July 16.
Mapúa’s Noah Lugo scored the highest in the team, garnering 13 points along with three rebounds, one assist, and three steals. Close behind him were Laurenz Victoria (11pts-5reb-3ast) and Warren Bonifacio (10pts-3reb-1ast).

The first quarter began in an explosive fashion as both squads traded bucket after bucket. Victoria scored six of the first eight team points as a response to prevent San Sebastian from getting away with a 7-0 run, but the Stags’ RK Ilagan countered to set the score 8-13 at the six-minute mark. 

The game slowed down from then on, as a drought swept across the court. The Cardinals committed a series of fouls while the Stags kept missing free throws, making only three out of ten. By the end of the quarter, the score was 11-16 with Mapúa trailing behind.

The offensive drought pressed on throughout the second period until San Sebastian’s Allyn Bulanadi connected from deep, just under eight minutes on the clock. Cardinal big man Christian Buñag replied with a quick bucket, but the Stags answered swiftly with a deuce. MU’s penalty woes allowed SSC-R to finish the half having double MU’s score, 23-46.

To start the third, JM Calma from the Recto-based cagers revved up the offense by hitting four shots to help San Sebastian snag the biggest gap of the game at 33 points (29-62). Mapúa’s retort began with Cyril Gonzales’ long-range make to instigate a 13-2 run. The Muralla athletes held on to conclude the quarter with a 23-point deficit (45-68).

Tension built up in the last quarter as both teams amped up aggressiveness on both ends of the floor, leading to another early penalty situation for Mapúa. While the Cardinals fought until the end, as marked by a three-point closer from Lugo, the superior Stags offense took home the win (68-92).

According to Cardinals head coach Randy Alcantara, the team’s early penalties were caused by a weak defense. They accumulated several personal fouls, especially in the first half despite San Sebastian having more technical fouls against them. Alcantara stressed that they will focus on their defensive play on subsequent training sessions. 

He regarded that the team adjusted well on the latter part of the game as their defense developed, which enabled them to produce 22 points on the third quarter and 23 on the fourth. “𝑆𝑜, 𝑎𝑛𝑔 𝑛𝑎𝑘𝑖𝑘𝑖𝑡𝑎 𝑘𝑜 𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑔 𝑠𝑦𝑒𝑚𝑝𝑟𝑒 𝑖𝑠 𝑝𝑎𝑔 𝑠𝑢𝑚𝑢𝑛𝑜𝑑 𝑘𝑎𝑚𝑖 𝑠𝑎 𝑔𝑎𝑚𝑒 𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑛 𝑎𝑡 𝑚𝑎𝑘𝑎𝑝𝑎𝑔-𝑑𝑒𝑝𝑒𝑛𝑠𝑎 𝑘𝑎𝑚𝑖 𝑛𝑔 𝑚𝑎𝑎𝑦𝑜𝑠, ‘𝑦𝑢𝑛 𝑎𝑛𝑔 𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑢𝑙𝑡𝑎 𝑠𝑜 𝑚𝑎𝑘𝑎𝑘𝑎𝑠𝑎𝑏𝑎𝑦 𝑘𝑎𝑚𝑖 𝑠𝑎 𝑚𝑔𝑎 𝑘𝑎𝑙𝑎𝑏𝑎𝑛,” he remarked. 

Mapúa will face their next challenge in the form of the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates on July 19 at the same venue.
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