MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE) The Mapua University Cardinals boosted their hopes of making it to the Final 4 after a 93-67 demolition of the Arellano University Chiefs in the NCAA Season 95 men's basketball tournament, Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
It was a balanced effort for the Cardinals, with six players scoring in double-digits led by Justin Serrano who had 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Noah Lugo anchored the Mapua offense, putting up 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists in a well-rounded performance.
Cyril Gonzales had 14 points, Joaqui Garcia made four of his five three-pointers for 12 points, Warren Bonifacio added 11 markers, and Laurenz Victoria scored 10 points.
"So proud doon sa mga players ko na talagang tinrabaho, defense and offense," said Mapua coach Randy Alcantara. "Nag-click 'yung outside shooting namin, three-points namin. "
It was a comfortable win for the Cardinals, who led by 9 points after two quarters and poured it on in the second half behind the hot three-point shooting of Garcia. They led by as much as 29 points, 89-60, off a Jasper Salenga bucket with 3:48 to play.
Mapua, which opened its campaign with five straight losses, has now won six of its last seven games for an even 6-6 win-loss record.
That puts Mapua in a tie for fifth and sixth places with De La Salle-College of St. Benilde, and just one game behind San Sebastian College (7-5) for fourth place.
Kent Salado had 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting for the Chiefs, along with 8 assists and 6 rebounds. But the rest of his teammates struggled to find their mark, combining for only 15-of-46 shooting. Arellano, as a team, made just 37.9% of their shots.
They could not stop Mapua's onslaught, with the Cardinals shooting nearly 51%. Mapua also had a massive 48-30 rebounding advantage, and a 22-11 lead on assists.
The loss dropped the Chiefs to 3-10 this season.
MAPUA 93 - Serrano 15, Gonzales 14, Garcia 12, Lugo 11, Bonifacio 11, Victoria 10, Nocum 5, Bunag 4, Aguirre 4, Gamboa 3, Salenga 2, Jabel 2, Nieles 0, Dela Cruz 0
ARELLANO 67 - Salado 23, Alcoriza 14, Espiritu 7, Sunga 6, Concepcion 3, Bayla 3, Arana 4, Sablan 3, Talampas 3, Segura 2, Sacramento 0, De Guzman 0
Quarter scores: 19-15, 42-33, 69-52, 93-67.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.