NCAA: Mapua glad to collect character-building wins in second round

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 15 2019 04:27 PM

NCAA: Mapua glad to collect character-building wins in second round 1
The Mapua Cardinals (seen in this file photo) are still in the hunt for the Final 4. Josh Albelda, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines -- Mapua University head coach Randy Alcantara is just glad to see his young team collect victories in the second round of the NCAA Season 95 tournament, after a brutal start that saw them drop their first five games.

The Cardinals remained in the Final 4 picture after an 85-81 triumph over University of Perpetual Help on Tuesday afternoon, giving them a 9-8 win-loss record with just one game left in their elimination round schedule.

That means they can still, at the very least, force a playoff for the last remaining spot in the Final 4.

"Kailangan namin 'tong panalo na 'to," said Alcantara. "Kagaya ng sinabi ko last time, hindi namin control 'yung laro ng Baste. Ang control lang namin, 'tong last two games namin."

"Nagpapasalamat ako sa kanila na 'yun, nakuha namin 'yung panalo at may chance pa. 'Yun nga lang, siyempre, hindi na sa mga kamay namin," he added.

With their Final 4 chances still hanging in the balance, Alcantara is just taking pride in how his team has rallied from a 0-5 start to become one of the better teams in the league in the second round.

Mapua had won four straight games to open the second round, fueling their Final 4 charge. Their only losses have come against league-leading San Beda University and Lyceum of the Philippines University.

For Alcantara, their performance in the second round is already enough to mark their season as a success.

"Malaking bagay 'to. Natutuwa ako at unti-unti, itong second round unti-unti naming nakuha 'yun," said the coach. "Natutuwa ang mga coaches, coaching staff na 'yung gusto naming mangyari, even though we start very slow, 0-5, pero nakabawi kami this second round."

"Malaking bagay sa amin 'to," he added. "Lalo na, matatapos 'tong season na gusto naming umangat 'yung standing, plus 'yung ma-build up 'yung character at mabalik sa Mapua 'yung winning attitude."

Alcantara admits that there is some regret in their slow start, but he also believes that it happened for a reason.

"Doon kami nagising lahat," he explained. "Yung mga bata, doon na rin natuto."

"Siguro 'yung 0-5 na 'yun, lahat nagising, at nag-mature. So 'yun ang importante," he added. "Sana madala namin, kung aabot ba kami ng playoffs, Final 4, at kung hindi naman, at least nagawa namin yung gusto naming mangyari na umangat sa standing plus yung character ng mga bata."

Mapua ends its elimination round campaign against De La Salle-College of St. Benilde on Friday.

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