Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals

Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals

The Cardinals are a perplexing bunch. They have talent - albeit in their starting unit. But they need to know how to play alongside one another.

Watching them during the summer, the chemistry problems were obvious. When they needed to make a pass, they took a shot. When they needed to take the shot, they made the pass and that led to a violation, turnover, or poor attempt.

When the game was on the line, they went one on one.

Hopefully, they would have learned all they needed to know.

They've got talent in that starting unit - the do-it-all Josan Nimes, undersized power forward Mark BraƱa, and their wonderful and hardworking Nigerian center Allwell Oraeme. Stephen Que never met a shot he didn't like. Andretti Stevens - yes he is still around but is in his final year - can still conjure some of that magic and late-game heroics. Along with role players CJ Isit, Exeqiel Biteng, Raphael Layug and Justin Serrano, they showcased their wares in a tournament in Cebu against CESAFI squads. But those southern squads do not place a premium on defense and opt for the run-and-gun style.

While the NCAA has a similar style, that won't work against the likes of defensive-oriented teams like San Beda, Perpetual Help or JRU.

"If we learned these lessons from the pre-season then that will serve us well in the NCAA," said head coach Fortunato "Atoy" Co. "Hopefully, we did."

They aren't deep. They have some talent. What Mapua needs to do is put it together. - Rick Olivares, contributor

Aguirre, Denniel Jay

Biteng, Exeqiel

Brana, Mark Jayson

Dela Rosa, Buenaventura

Isit, Carlos

Layug, Raphael Joesh

Menina, Darell Shane

Nieles, John Paul

Nimes, Josan Michael

Oraeme, Allwell

Que, Stephen

Raflores, Buenaventura Jr.

Serrano, Justin Oliver

Stevens, Andrettimari

Villasenor, Ronnel

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