MANILA -- Victory at last.

8 October 2022

MANILA — Victory at last.

That’s what the Cardinals bench blurted out in unison as Mapua eked out a convincing 67-55 win over Emilio Aguinaldo College to snap an agonizing eight-game losing skid Saturday in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.

Determined as they are, the Cardinals played throughout with cohesion before putting the game to bed at 63-49 after Paolo Hernandez nailed a triple at the 3:11 mark.

It was a sweet victory for the Intramuros-based Cardinals as they averted a winless first-round campaign.

Last season, Mapua ended as runner-up but they struggled to regain momentum from an opening-day shakeup after the Cardinals’ win against San Beda got nullified after fielding an alleged ineligible player.

Warren Bonifacio had a double-double effort of 16 points and 10 rebounds, Hernandez chipped in 12 points, seven boards, and three assists while Rence Nocum had 11 points, eight boards, and three assists for the Cardinals.

“Siguro yung extra workout nila, tuloy-tuloy pa rin kami. Hindi kami tumitigil,” said Mapua coach Randy Alcantara.

The Generals became the only winless team with their seventh consecutive setback.

Allen Liwag came through with 22 points, and seven rebounds, while JP Maguliano chipped in 11 points and eight boards for EAC.

The scores:

Mapua 67 — Bonifacio 16, Hernandez 12, Nocum 11, Garcia 10, Pido 6, Cuenco 5, Salenga 4, Soriano 2, Parinas 1, Mercado 0, Lacap 0, Igliane 0.
EAC 55 — Liwag 22, Maguliano 11, Robin 10, Tolentino 5, Bajon 3, Luciano 1, Gurtiza 1, An. Doria 1, Cosa 1, Umpad 0, Balowa 0.
Quarterscores: 15-16, 35-27, 51-42, 67-55.