Cardinals thwart Pirates, keep hopes for semis bonus alive

Joey Villar - Philstar.com
Cardinals thwart Pirates, keep hopes for semis bonus alive

Games Friday
(Filoil Flying V Arena)
12 p.m. – UPHSD vs EAC
3 p.m. – Letran vs San Beda

MANILA, Philippines – Mapua needed a big second half push to turn back Lyceum of the Philippines University on Wednesday, 75-65, and stay in contention for a twice-to-beat edge in the Final Four of the 97th NCAA basketball tournament at the La Salle Greenhills Gym.

Paolo Hernandez and Toby Agustin each fired 13 points while Brian Lacap chipped in 12 as the Cardinals improved to 7-2 while keeping their chances of claiming the other Final Four incentive.

But Mapua would need the help of Letran, which already booked the first semis advantage, as a San Beda loss to the Knights in their duel Friday at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan would forge a tie at second.

If this happens, the Cardinals would clinch the No. 2 seed and the Final Four bonus since they beat the Lions, 68-54, last week.

“Our coach (Randy Alcantara) emphasized the importance of this game, that is why we played with a sense of urgency,” said Arvin Gamboa, who came off the bench to contribute nine points for Mapua.

The Pirates, who were already out of it, put up some fight early and led 17-15 in the opening quarter and, 34-32, in the second half.

And then Hernandez and Gamboa helped spark a big second half uprising that saw the Cardinals putting the Pirates away.

LPU ended their campaign with a 2-7 mark.

The scores:

Mapua 75 – Hernandez 13, Agustin 13, Lacap 12, Gamboa 10, Garcia 9, Nocum 6, Bonifacio 5, Asuncion 3, Pido 2, Mercado 2, Salenga 0

LPU 65 – Barba 16, Larupay 15, Remulla 8, Cunanan 7, Navarro 6, Bravo 5, Guadana 4, Garro 3, Abadeza 1, Jabel 0, Valdez 0, Guinto 0

Quarterscores: 15-17; 32-34; 53-47; 75-65

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