NCAA: Mapua banks on chemistry for 2-0 start

Mapua Cardinals.–NCAA PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Mapua has shown improved chemistry early in the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball tournament.

Their cohesiveness was on full display on Friday when the Cardinals hammered out a 75-57 win over San Beda for their second win in as many games to grab a share of the top spot with Lyceum.

“The chemistry is there but I always tell my players that it’s different inside the court. I can see in the open court that the players are solid. But our mentality is, we shouldn’t relax. We can’t be overconfident,” said coach Randy Alcantara. 

“The beautiful thing is, whoever we use is focused on whatever we want to happen, they contribute.”

Aside from their chemistry, the Cardinals can also attribute their early success to playmaker Clint Escamis, who suited up for a season at University of the East before returning to Mapua where he played in high school.

Escamis had an all-around game of 14 points, seven rebounds and eight assists.

“All of them have willingness on defense. It starts with me, Paolo (Hernandez) and (Warren) Bonifacio because the coaches pulled us aside before the first game,” said Escamis.

His backcourt tandem Paolo Hernandez also shone with 17 points, five rebounds and four assists.

“They told us to be leaders on and off the court and now it had a positive effect, the energy was contagious and they executed.”

Mapua aims to extend its unbeaten start against Jose Rizal University (1-1) on Sunday.

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