By Kristina Caramel Sy edited by Val Macanas
Manila, Philippines -- Though head coach Gerry Esplana was missing in action in the game, Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) was still able to snag their final victory in the NCAA Season 89 after toppling the Mapua Cardinals, 82-76, Saturday Night at the Arena in San Juan.
EAC almost got that last Final 4 slot had San Sebastian lost to CSB in their last game, but unfortunately the Stags got that big win, thereby putting EAC in the 5th spot outside the Final 4/Semis.
Despite failing to advance in the Final 4, the Generals were still in their usual fighting form, keeping that morale that earned them a number of wins this Season.
Their game against the Mapua Cardinals was no different from the previous matches wherein they performed really well, not giving up when the going is tough.
The Cardinals dominated during the first thirty-minutes of the game as Forward Jeson Cantos came out firing from all cylinders. He scored a total of 24 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out 6 assists for the Cardinals.
The Generals later on found their rhythm in the latter part of the game as the 3rd year baller Jorem Morada dazzled the crowd with his flashy shooting from beyond the arc, earning him a total of 23 points on 5/8 shooting from the 3-point country. He propelled the Generals in front with less than 5 minutes left in the 4th Quarter, eventually giving his team the victory.
This win of the Generals (now with 10 wins and 8 losses) put Mapua in the last place of the team standings at the end of the elimination round with only 2 wins out of 16 games.
They failed to advance in the Final 4, but the Generals were still upbeat because they were able to book a ticket in the upcoming PCCL 2013 (Champions League) wherein the top 6 teams in the NCAA are invited to participate and compete for the right to be called "The National Champions."
EAC 82: Morada 23, Happi 17, Jamon 13, Arquero 11, King 5, Munsayac 5, Onwubere 0, Mejos 0, Castro 0, Hiole Manga 2, Paguia 2, Tayongtong 4
MIT 76: Cantos 24, Magtoto 0, Guzman 0, Gabo 0, Estrella 2, Gonzales 2, Isit 9, Ighalo 11, Magsigay 15, Brana 13