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NCAA: Final Four settled, Cardinals close Round Two with 15-3 after emerging victorious over JRU

The Mapua Cardinals escaped the tenacious JRU Heavy Bombers, pulling through a fourth quarter scare, scoring 77-74; the Cardinals kept their momentum, ending the second round at the top seed of the NCAA Season 99, at the Filoil Flying V Arena. The red and gold also eliminated JRU for Final Four contention, carrying the Benilde Blazers to the Final Four.

Player of the game Clint Escamis led the Intramuros squad with 25 points, four rebounds, four assists, and five steals. Team captain Warren Bonifacio also showed excellent performance with 6/7 field goals, he chipped in 17 points and five boards. Marc Cuenco and JC Recto also pulled in double digits, with 13 and 11 points respectively.

A close game for Season host JRU, the team was led by Agem Miranda with 16 points, three rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Joshua Guiab also added 16 points, 10 rebounds, and one assist. The JRU Heavy Bombers ended their Season 99 campaign with an impressive 10-8 slate, falling short of the Top 4.

The Heavy Bombers staged a comeback and were able to tie the game at 72 after Dela Rosa shot his triple with 2:30 left on the clock. Escamis returned this also with a three, giving back the lead to the Cardinals at the 2:14 mark. However, JRU did not give in as Escamis missed three out of six free throws. The chance was taken by Guiab as he shot a three in the last 3.7 seconds, but the shot hit the back of the rim and the Heavy Bombers failed to fulfill their comeback, making this their last game in the Season 99.

The Final Four of the NCAA Season 99 is now fully booked, with the Mapua Cardinals and LPU Pirates having a twice-to-beat advantage, followed by the San Beda Red Lions and Benilde Blazers. The Cardinals will face the Blazers for the first round of the semifinals of Season 99.

The Scores:

Mapua 77 | Escamis 25, Bonifacio 17, Cuenco 13, Recto 11, Hernandez 6, Rosillo 3, Soriano 2, Fornis 0, Dalisay 0, Asuncion 0

JRU 74 | Miranda 16, Guiab 16, Dela Rosa 9, Delos Santos 8, Ramos 8, Dionisio 7, Medina 6, Sarmiento 2, Mosqueda 2, Pabico 0, De Leon 0, Arenal 0, Argente 0, Sy 0

End of Quarter Scores: 17-9, 33-31, 60-54, 77-74

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