By Kristina Caramel Sy
The Mapua Cardinals looked very comfortable in playing the spoiler's role yesterday, in their 2nd round face-off in the 88th season of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA). They played their role very well even though they no longer have a chance to enter the Final 4. They outplayed and defeated the Final 4 seeking Perps Squad via 74-71.
Soaring once again for the Cards is Jonathan Banal. He had 21 points and 3 rebounds. He sank 4 crucial three pointers in this game. I said crucial because they came when Perps was trying to make a run. He played like a fireman in this game.
The Cardinals dominated the 1st quarter via a 10-0 run. And then after 8 mins. of action in the First quarter, Perps' Femi Babayemi was thrown out of the playing court due to a wrong act.
That caused a lot of trouble for the Altas as it affected their player rotation.
But Perps doubled their efforts in the 2nd quarter as they limited the Cardinals' baskets. The Cards made only two-field goals that handed the Altas their biggest lead,
36-30 in the 2nd Quarter.
Cardinals made a big comeback after the halftime break. J. Banal, Nimes and Braña were very aggressive in the 2nd half. They made crucial buckets that depressed the Altas who were trying to assure their final four hopes this season. The Cards have won their 6th game of the Season while the Altas have failed to finally seal their Final 4 berth.
The Altas will have to win their next games if they want to proceed. That's tough because they will face San Sebastian and San Beda in their next games.