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NCAA 94 @ Filoil Flying V Centre, photo by Joaqui Flores: MU #24 Laurenz Victoria, CSB #23 Justin Gutang

Basketball

Laurenz Victoria, Atoy Co striving to make Mapua proud again


Ever since Allwell Oraeme left Mapua University two seasons ago, the Cardinals have slumped.

Last season, Mapua finished with a horrid 3-15 slate – dead last in the league.

This season, the Cardinals looked dead in the water for the second straight year. Mapua only won two of their first 10 outings.

But Laurenz Victoria has made sure that they will not go down without a fight.

After knocking down the game-winner against the JRU Heavy Bombers last Thursday, Victoria was the lead man once again for the Cardinals against Final Four-hopefuls CSB Blazers. The Mapua lifer had 16 points, six rebounds, and six assists to lead Mapua’s 86-83 stunner.

“Eh siya lang naman talaga eh, wala ng iba,” beamed fourth-year Mapua head coach Atoy Co. “Basta, I’m giving him all my confidence. Kasi siya ang isa pa sa pinaka-senior sa team. And he has proven already even last year na he can really play.”

“Hindi naman sa sinasabi na pag ganoong crunch time, akin na. Kumbaga, parang nilalakasan ko yung loob ko talaga para manalo kami, kinukuha ko talaga,” Victoria added.

“Akin na.”

With the win, Mapua have revived their playoff hopes, as they are now just three games behind fourth-running Saint Benilde.

But before they get ahead of themselves, the goal of Victoria and Co is to restore the Mapua community’s pride in the Cardinals.

“That’s a very good news we have to win more,” shared Co as Mapua has posted its first win streak since Season 92, “But we have to win more. For the school, for the school.

“Sabi ko nga, dati nahihiya na ako pumasok sa school eh. Naka-maskara na nga ako eh. Ngayon hindi naman.”

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