Mapua finally barged into the win column after a 67-55 whipping of Emilio Aguinaldo College, Saturday, Oct. 8, in the NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.

Warren Bonifacio of the Mapua Cardinals (NCAA/GMA)

The Cardinals ended their first round campaign on a bright note with a 1-8 record behind the efforts of Warren Bonifacio, Paolo Hernandez, Adrian Nocum, and Juaqui Garcia.

The first half saw both teams exchanging equal baskets before Garcia, who finished with 10 points, and Jasper Salenga sparked the Cardinals in the third quarter, pulling away slowly bridging the payoff period.

After a comfortable 51-42 lead, Mapua clamped down on its defense while continuing its offensive assault to keep EAC at bay.

The Cardinals never looked back at that point as both Garcia and Hernandez made key baskets to maintain their momentum and lead, enabling them to get their first win after suffering a huge blow from their recent controversy.

Mapua initially had a win in the opener against San Beda but the NCAA, upon review, negated the decision and penalized the Cardinals with a loss instead.

Bonifacio led the Cardinals with 16 points and 10 rebounds, Hernandez hauled 12 points, seven rebounds, and three assists, and Nocum chalked up 11 points, eight rebounds and three assists.

Moving forward though, Mapua gets a much-needed breather heading into the second round.

Allen Liwag paced the Generals, who fell to a 0-7 hole, with 22 points and seven rebounds.

JP Maguillano also had 11 points and eight rebounds while Ralph Robin chipped in 10 points for the embattled EAC.

The Scores:

MAPUA 67 — Bonifacio 16, Hernandez 12, Nocum 11, Garcia 10, Pido 6, Cuenco 5, Salenga 4, Soriano 2, Parinas 1, Igliane 0, Mercado 0, Lacap 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.

Quarters: 15-16, 35-27, 51-42, 67-55.

Source: Manila Bulletin (