By REYNALD MAGALLON
Mapua waxed hot from beyond the arc and blasted College of St. Benilde, 84-65, to grab the solo third in the NCAA Season 97 Tuesday at the La Salle Green Hills Gym.
The Cardinals came through with a near-perfect rhythm on the offensive end, banging in 12 three-pointers en route to the convincing victory over the Blazers and improve to a 5-2 record.
Brian Lacap and Paolo Hernandez led the outside sniping for Mapua, drilling four three pointers each while Adrian Nocum added two.
Lacap finished with 22 points on a 50 percent clip from the rainbow territory while Hernandez added 17 markers and seven rebounds.
It was also the second-straight game that the Cardinals reached twin digits in three-point field goal after unloading 12 in their 95-83 win against Perpetual Help last Wednesday.
More than their fluid offensive execution, however, Mapua coach Randy Alcantara credited the team’s defense that led to lopsided win
The Cardinals limited the Blazers to a 36 percent clip from the field and measly 1-of-18 shooting from the three-point territory.
Will Gozum paced the Blazers with 13 points and 14 rebounds while Miggy Corteza added 11 markers.
The Cardinals started with guns blazing in the second quarter as Lacap and Hernandez sparked the three-point barrage for a 15-point separation, 34-19. The Blazers, banking on its full-court press, crawled back within single digits, 39-30 at the half.
Mapua, then turned it on once again from distance as Nocum and Lacap triples stretched the lead back to twin-digits in the third frame 47-32 which it never relinquished the rest of the way.
CSB fell to the fourth spot with a 4-3.
Mapua 84 — Lacap 22, Hernandez 17, Nocum 14, Agustin 9, Gamboa 8, Pido 6, Mercado 4, Bonifacio 4, Asuncion 0, Salenga 0, Milan 0, Garcia 0, Soriano 0.
CSB 65 — Gozum 13, Corteza 11, Benson 10, Carlos 8, Nayve 6, Davis 5, Marcos 4, Cullar 4, Lepalam 3, Flores 1, Mosqueda 0, Sangco 0, Publico 0, Lim 0.
Quarters: 19-19, 39-30, 62-47, 84-65