Mapua Cardinals NCAA

Mapua Cardinals in the NCAA Season 97. NCAA/GMA PHOTO

Mapua removed San Beda’s cloak of invincibility with a collective endeavor built on pure grit and hustle on Saturday, 68-54, in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the La Salle Greenhills gym.

Paolo Hernandez came out with a stellar role, banging in double-double efforts of 14 points and 13 rebounds off the bench as the Cardinals stalled the Red Lions’ march to the Final Four.

On catching their foes flat footed on a really bad day, coach Randy Alcantara and his troops likewise dealt the perennial title contender Lions their worst loss in years in posting a sixth victory in eight games.

The Cardinals, who also squeezed 15 points from Toby Agustin, remained fastened to third place behind the Lions, who bowed for the first time this season in seven games.

James Kwekuteye had 14 points and 11 rebounds while Ralph Penuela added 13 points for the Lions, whose worst beating dated back in 2015 when they dropped a 72-91 decision to the Arellano University Chiefs.

Mapua 68 — Agustin 15, Hernandez 14, Bonifacio 13, Pido 8, Nocum 8, Lacap 5, Gamboa 5, Salenga 0, Mercado 0.
San Beda 54 — Kwekuteye 14, Penuela 13, Amsali 6, Andrada 5, Gallego 4, Bahio 3, Sanchez 3, Alfaro 2, Ynot 2, Cuntapay 2, Abuda 0, Villejo 0.
Quarters: 17-14, 31-27, 50-40, 68-54.

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