Juaqui Garcia caught fire to carry the cudgels for Mapua, hacking out a 74-49 routing of Jose Rizal University in the second round of the NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball tournament Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.

Juaqui Garcia of the Mapua Cardinals (NCAA/GMA)

Garcia put up 17 points, 11 coming from the second half, built on five triples to lead all scorers and provide the spark for the Cardinals, who won thrice in a row en route to a 5-9 record.

Adrian Nocum chalked up 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists while Warren Bonifacio had 10 points and four rebounds for Mapua.

Jomer Mercado and Paolo Hernandez also formed a dynamic duo in the paint, scoring seven points apiece and grabbing nine and five rebounds each.

A commanding second half is what the Cardinals needed to pull away for good, limiting the Heavy Bombers to just 18 points — nine from each quarter — behind the joint efforts of Garcia, Nocum, and Bonifacio.

But it was Garcia who spelled the difference for Mapua, after finding his scoring groove to finish with a 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc.

Garcia maximized the 18 minutes and 43 seconds of playing time as he went on an efficient 6-of-10 (60 percent) shooting from the field.

The Cardinals still led by as many as 13 points, 53-40, heading into the payoff period but they never looked back with still plenty four minutes of action.

Mapua, even down to the last minute, asserted its mastery and put up a 20-point margin to keep a significant distance despite JRU’s desperate attempts to trim the deficit.

Jonathan Medina paced the Bombers, who sustained their third straight loss with a 5-5 slate, with 15 points and five rebounds.

Marwin Dionisio chipped in 12 points and rebounds while Ry Dela Rosa had eight points and five rebounds.

The Scores:

MAPUA 74 — Garcia 17, Nocum 12, Bonifacio 10, Mercado 7, Hernandez 7, Cuenco 5, Pido 5, Lacap 4, Agustin 3, Salenga 2, Soriano 2.

JRU 49 — Medina 15, Dionisio 12, Dela Rosa 8, Miranda 4, Arenal 2, Amores 2, Sy 2, Celis 2, Guiab 1, Delos Santos 1, Tan 0, De Jesus 0, Villarin 0, Abaoag 0.

Quarters: 21-16, 38-31, 53-40, 74-49.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2022/11/02/juaqui-garcia-catches-fire-as-mapua-routs-jru/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=juaqui-garcia-catches-fire-as-mapua-routs-jru)