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MU falters against UPHSD, 78-80, in first NCAA 95 skirmish

Article by: Marianne Lois M. Boncolmo and Vincent Andre B. Ramirez
Photo by: Sophia Lorraine U. Estabaya

In their first game of the season, the Mapúa University (MU) Cardinals fell short against a comeback effort from the University of Perpetual Help System-DALTA (UPHSD) Altas, 78-80, at the FilOil Flying V Centre last July 9.
Cardinals Warren Bonifacio, with 15 points, and Cyril Gonzales, with a 14pts-3ast-5stl stat line, led the charge against the Las Piñas-based squad while Perpetualites Rey Peralta (20pts-2ast), Edgar Charcos (16pts-5ast-2stl), and Jielo Razon (10pts-4ast-2stl) initiated the counterattack. 

Mapúa’s Justin Serrano opened the first quarter with a three-ball and Peralta answered quick with his own long-range make – setting the back and forth tone of the game. With early hustle from guards Gonzales and Joaqui Garcia, the Muralla residents emerged with a close 22-21 lead.

After a one-and-a-half-minute drought, both teams exchanged a deuce each to begin the second quarter. A joint JP Nieles - Laurenz Victoria effort resulted in eight points to help the team break away from the stalemate. The Cards kept the Altas at bay, holding a 45-39 advantage at the end of the half.

War raged on in a third quarter thriller, as Gonzales drew blood with a two and Perpetual’s Kim Aurin retaliated with an and-1 to inch UPHSD within five, 47-42. The Red and Gold unleashed an 8-4 run but the maroon-clad squad gained momentum following a Benedict Adamos block against Serrano. Four deadlocks arose within the final three minutes, with Jeff Egan finally liberating the Perpetualites with a free throw to end the period at 63-64.

Peralta poised his squad to maintain the momentum with a three-pointer, while Mapúa struggled to take back the lead. After two more deadlocks at 67 and 69, Altas held off the Cards with a 10-3 run (72-79). A spin move finish from MU’s Paolo Hernandez and a clutch three from Victoria gave Mapúa hope at the 8.3-second mark (78-79), but a foul on Edgar Charcos enabled him to seal the game with a free throw dagger.

When asked about his thoughts regarding the game, newly-appointed Cardinals coach Randy Alcantara stated that they had a favorable start, even though the team did not finish smoothly. The former Red Robins tactician promised on working out the turnovers and tightening up the team’s defenses. “𝐿𝑎𝑙𝑎𝑏𝑎𝑛 𝑘𝑎𝑚𝑖 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦 𝑔𝑎𝑚𝑒, 𝑠𝑜, ‘𝑦𝑢𝑛𝑔 𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑢𝑙𝑡𝑎, 𝑠𝑎 ℎ𝑢𝑙𝑖 𝑛𝑎 𝑠𝑖𝑔𝑢𝑟𝑜 𝑖𝑦𝑜𝑛, 𝑎𝑡 𝑡𝑢𝑙𝑜𝑦 𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑔 𝑛𝑎𝑚𝑖𝑛 ‘𝑦𝑢𝑛𝑔 𝑔𝑎𝑛𝑜𝑜𝑛𝑔 𝑎𝑡𝑡𝑖𝑡𝑢𝑑𝑒 𝑛𝑎𝑚𝑖𝑛 𝑠𝑎 𝑔𝑎𝑚𝑒,” he added.

The Cards are set to face the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Stags next on July 16 at the same arena.
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