Wednesday, 13 August 2008 80 Comments
MAPUA Institute of Technology ended its three-game skid in the best possible way.
The host Cardinals regained their winning form at the expense of the heavily-favored, reigning back-to-back champions San Beda College, 53-48, in the 84th NCAA menÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s basketball tournament last August 13, 2008 at the Pasay Astrodome.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only our desire to beat them,Ã¢â‚¬? said Leo Isaac, the CardinalsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ coach. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is a good victory for us because we came from three straight defeats.Ã¢â‚¬?
The Cardinals tightened up their defensive screws in the second quarter, allowing the Red Lions to convert on only 5-of-20 from the field that earned them a 32-20 advantage at halftime.
In the second half, Mapua milked the shot clock on almost every possession, playing four-corners basketball and launching shots in the final three to four seconds of the 24-second timer.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“San Beda really wanted to get back at us in the second half, but our hearts and desires to exact revenge prevailed,Ã¢â‚¬? said Kelvin dela PeÃƒÂ±a, who paced the Cardinals with 12 points and seven assists. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We lost against them in the first round, so we really prepared for this game.Ã¢â‚¬?
The Cardinals were badly beaten by the Red Lions, 56-85, in the opening game of Season 84 last June 28.
Forward Neil Pascual delivered 11 points and eight boards, while Ian Mazo and Allan Mangahas had seven and six points, respectively, to relegate the Red Lions to third place with a 6-3 win-loss card.
San Beda came within two, 32-34 with 2:42 in the third quarter. But a 9-2 Mapua salvo under the two-minute mark of the third period kept the Red Lions at bay, 34-41, at the start of final frame.
Sam Ekwe was limited to only 14 points while Ogie Menor had 12.
Meanwhile, San Beda College officials said that at least three Mapua players violated the existing rules on wearing the proper uniform by donning different-colored undershirts. According to a school official, however, the squad will not put the game under protest.
Mapua 53 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ dela PeÃƒÂ±a 12, N. Pascual, 11, Mazo 7, Mangahas 6, J. Pascual 5, Sarangay 5, Banal 5, Guillermo 2, Soriano 0.
San Beda 48 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ekwe 14, Menor 12, Tecson 6, Pascual 6, Escobal 6, Hermida 4, Gamalinda 0, Marcelo 0, Villanueva 0, Taupa 0.
Quarter scores: 13-15; 32-20; 41-34; 53-48