NCAA: Mapua hands CSB back-to-back losses

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 19 2022 02:30 PM | Updated as of Apr 19 2022 02:50 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) Mapua University seized solo third place in the NCAA Season 97 men's basketball tournament with an impressive 84-65 rout of De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (CSB), Tuesday at the La Salle Greenhills Gym.

Mapua racked up a second straight victory to improve their record to 5-2, while sending the Blazers to a second straight defeat. CSB now has a 4-3 win-loss record.

Both teams are chasing spots in the NCAA's play-in tournament. The top two teams at the end of the elimination round will automatically be seeded to the semifinals, with a twice-to-beat bonus. The next four teams will compete in a play-in for the remaining two semis seats.

Brian Lacap starred for the Cardinals with 22 points, four steals, four rebounds and two assists, while making half of his eight three-pointers. As a team, Mapua connected on 12-of-33 attempts from long distance.

"Siyempre nagsimula 'to sa practice eh," Lacap said of their strong shooting from long-range.

"Sabi ng coaches namin, kailangan namin i-improve 'yung tiwala namin sa isa't isa. Kailangan namin magtiwala sa kanila na 'pag mas open 'yung sa labas, ibigay namin, kasi nagpa-practice naman kami every day," he added.

"May mga extra shooting pa nga after ng training. Nagpapasalamat lang ako dahil nag-pay off ang extra shooting namin every day."

Mapua broke a tight game open in the second quarter, where they out-scored the Blazers, 20-11, to enter the break with a 39-30 lead. The Cardinals never let up, pushing ahead by double-digits in the third period and securing the big win.

Paolo Hernandez added 17 points, and Adrian Nocum had 14. Mapua won comfortably even with big man Warren Bonifacio scoring just four points, as he was limited to 19 minutes due to foul trouble.

Will Gozum had 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting for the Blazers, and Miguel Corteza added 11 points. But CSB had no answer for Mapua's three-point shooting, and were ice cold from long distance themselves. The Blazers made just one of 18 attempts from deep, with Taine Davis converting in the fourth quarter when Mapua was already well in control of the game.

The scores:

MAPUA 84 -- Lacap 22, Hernandez 17, Nocum 14, Agustin 9, Gamboa 8, Pido 6, Mercado 4, Bonifacio 4, Asunción 0, Salenga 0, Milan 0, Garcia 0, Soriano 0.

ST. BENILDE 65 -- Gozum 13, Corteza 11, Benson 10, Carlos 8, Nayve 6, Davis 5, Marcos 4, Cullar 4, Lepalam 3, Flores 1, Mosqueda 0, Sangco 0, Publico 0, Lim 0.

Quarter-scores: 19-19, 39-30, 62-47, 84-65.