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Mapua puts premium on defense, says deputy coach Yong Garcia
by Niel Victor Masoy, August 13, 2019 9:47pm
After starting the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) season 95 Seniors basketball tournament with five straight losses, the Mapua University (MU) Cardinals have now won two straight games.
Mapua notched its latest victory on Tuesday, stopping the Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) Generals, 76-66, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
For Cardinals deputy coach Yong Garcia, it’s their defense that spelled the difference in their winning run. Actually, the soft-spoken mentor shared that head coach Randy Alcatara has been putting a premium on their defense aside from their team bonding in their practices.
“Binigyan talaga ng time ni coach Randy yung bonding time namin. Mas nag-focus kami sa individual skills at the same time yung defense talagang tinuntukan namin,” said Garcia, who spoke for Alcantara in the post-game presser moments after Mapua’s win.
Alcantara wasn’t able to face the media as his blood pressure rose late in the contest when things got physical between some of the Mapua and EAC players, according to Alcantara.
That Generals premium on the defensive end showed in the third quarter where they unleashed a 21-0 run which turned a 35-34 cushion at the 8:29 mark of the third frame into a 56-34 advantage with 2:27 left in the quarter.
Mapua never looked back since then and led by as much 25 points, 67-42, with 7:15 remaining in the fourth quarter before the Generals made the final count respectable by finishing the game with a 24-9 rally.
“Nagstart yun sa depensa namin,” Garcia said of Mapua’s decisive run. “Nag-start sila maging aggressive sa defense. Naka-stop kami at yung offense sumabay na lang.”
Now, Garcia hopes that this two-game winning streak would give the Cardinals confidence as they try to finish the first round on a high note.
“Hopefully, makatulong itong dalawang sunod na panalo. Kasi galing sa 0-5 down yung mga bata.”
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