NCAA: Mapua sends JRU home as Final Four cast now complete

Final Four-bound Mapua University narrowly escaped a gritty Jose Rizal University, 77-74, to end its elimination round campaign on a six-game winning streak on Wednesday in the NCAA Season 99.

With Mapua’s win, the Final Four cast has now been completed with second seed Lyceum of the Philippines University, San Beda University, and De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde as the Cardinals improved to 15-3 while JRU closed out its bid at 10-8.

The Cardinals turned it up in the third period with Clint Escamis showcasing his range by two triples before back-to-back three-pointers from him and fellow rookie JC Recto allowed Mapua to take a 69-59 halfway through the fourth, 69-59.

The Heavy Bombers restored order with Agem Miranda draining a triple of his own to power a 10-3 run, 72-69, before team captain Ry De La Rosa exploded for a game-tying long bomb with 2:30 left.

Escamis, however, came up big with another bucket from downtown to give Mapua enough breathing room with a 75-72 cushion.

JL Delos Santos then forced Escamis to commit a crucial turnover which allowed De La Rosa to bury a potential game-winning triple but he went wide. 

Escamis missed two free throws then split a pair of freebies to give Mapua a 77-74 cushion with 3.7 ticks left. Joshua Guiab had the chance to force a tie but missed his last-gasp triple.

Escamis shone with a 25-point outburst laced with four rebounds, four assists, and five steals while team captain Warren Bonifacio chipped in 17 markers and five boards.  

Agem Miranda paced the Heavy Bombers with 16 points, five assists, and three rebounds while Guiab tallied a double-double effort of 16 markers as well alongside 10 boards.


Mapua 77- Escamis 25, Bonifacio 17, Cuenco 13, Recto 11, Hernandez 6, Rosillo 3, Soriano 2, Fornis 0, Dalisay 0, Asuncion 0.

JRU 74- Miranda 16, Guiab 16, Dela Rosa 9, Delos Santos 8, Ramos 8, Dionisio 7, Medina 6, Sarmiento 2, Mosqueda 2, Pabico 0, De Leon 0, Arenal 0, Argente 0, Sy 0.

Quarterscores: 17-9; 33-31; 60-54; 77-74.

—JKC, GMA Integrated News

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