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NCAA: Mapua trips Perpetual Help to formally enter Final 4

Clint Escamis continues his MVP-worthy season for the now Final Four-bound Mapua squad. NCAA
By Dugout Philippines

SAN JUAN, Metro Manila—Already assured of a Final Four spot, Mapua has shifted gears on a new target: a twice-to-beat incentive.

Using it as motivation, the Cardinals overpowered the University of Perpetual Help Altas, 69-53, on Wednesday to gain a much-needed distance between itself and the rest of the field in NCAA Season 99 at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

Clint Escamis served as the head inquisitor in Mapua’s utter decimation of UPHSD after coming through with another stat line to remember—17 points, six steals, four rebounds, four assists, a block, and not a single turnover.

Escamis’ magnificence kept Mapua’s iron grip on the solo lead with a 13-3 record.

Another win against either Arellano U tomorrow or Jose Rizal U next week would seal it a top-two finish and the vital Final Four edge that goes with it.

Skipper Warren Bonifacio and Jopet Soriano were also heroic and scattered 11 and 10 points, respectively.

But none shone the brightest than Escamis, whose magical season could seal him the award every player covets—the MVP plum.

While Mapua glittered in resplendence, UPHSD sank to its eighth defeat in as many wins and closer to the abyss as it no longer controlled its Final Four fate.

UPHSD would need to sweep its last two assignments against Emilio Aguinaldo College on Saturday and San Sebastian on Tuesday and hope and pray none of its remaining semis-seeking rivals gets to win No. 11. 

But the Altas tried.

Specifically, Jun Roque, whose desperate 13-point and 12-rebound effort wasn’t enough to pull his team out of the deep hole it dug after a mediocre performance in the middle quarters.

The scores:

Mapua 69- Escamis 17, Bonifacio 11, Soriano 10, Cuenco 8, Dalisay 6, Recto 4, Rosillo 4, Morenos 4, Hernandez 3, Igliane 2, Asuncion 0, Bancale 0, Sabsalon 0

UPHSD 53- Roque 13, Pagaran 9, Abis 7, Nitura 6, Razon 6, Gelsano 4, Omega 3, Barcuma 3, Ferreras 2, Nunez 0, Boral 0, Cuevas 0

Quarterscores: 11-8; 29-21; 56-36; 69-53

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