Wanting to end their campaign on a high note, the Mapua University Cardinals wasted no time in blasting the Arellano University Chiefs, taking a 91-78 victory, Tuesday evening at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
With this, the Cardinals, who have missed the Final Four for the second straight year, ended their NCAA Season 94 Seniors Basketball campaign with a 6-12 record — three wins better than last season.
But first and foremost, Atoy Co wanted his team to bounce back from their 64-86 defeat to the San Sebastian Golden Stags four days ago.
“Actually, I will go back to the game against Baste. That was really a disaster. We were not moving the ball, everybody were selfish,” lamented Co.
“Before this game, I talked to them. I told them that this was our last game and end the season on a good note. Mas maganda kung matapos ito ng panalo at tinalo naman namin sila last time. We really have to play as a team,” the PBA legend added.
The Cardinals took this to heart, dishing out 25 assists in the game. And this was evident in the third frame as the Red Robin duo of Laurenz Victoria and Noah Lugo who sparked the Cardinals’ huge 27-point quarter. Victoria and Lugo combined for 15 of Mapua’s 27 points in the quarter.
“As you can see, madami kaming assist. Walang nagpupumilit mag shoot. Happy ako sa laro namin,” beamed the fourth-year Cardinals head coach.
Lugo scored a team-high 21 points while Victoria added 15 points, five assists, and four rebounds.
Then in the final frame, graduating guard Ced Pelayo took over, scoring seven of his career-high 21 points to buck any comeback of the Chiefs.
Justin Serrano tallied 12 points and 10 rebounds as well.
Exe Beteng also played his last game.
For the Chiefs — who dropped to 5-12, Ian Alban led the team with 19 points but he fouled out late. Michael Canete added 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Arellano will finish their campaign on Tuesday, October 23 against the San Sebastian Golden Stags.
MU 91 — Pelayo 21, Lugo 21, Victoria 15, Serrano 12, Gamboa 10, Aguirre 4, Bunag 3, Bonifacio 2, Biteng 2, Jabel 1, Nieles 0, Salenga 0, Bautista 0, Carandang 0, Garcia 0.
AU 78 — Alban 19, Canete 15, Dela Torre 13, Alcoriza 10, Concepcion 6, Sera Josef 5, Dela Cruz 5, Segura 4, Bayla 1.
Quarterscores: 23-19, 40-37, 67-57, 91-78.