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League-leading Cardinals soar past Chiefs for 5th straight win

MANILA, Philippines – The Mapua Cardinals notched their fifth straight victory in the NCAA Season 99 at the expense of the already-ran Arellano Chiefs, 84-75, Friday afternoon in NCAA Season 99 action at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.

The Cardinals took a 15-point lead, 79-64, with 3:36 left after a Clint Escamis jumper.

The Chiefs, however, cut the lead to single digit, 79-70, with a 3-pointer by Jade Talampas some 48 seconds later.

After another Talampas trey to cut the lead to six, 79-73, the two teams went on a dry spell.

A pair of free throws by Paolo Hernandez with 50 seconds remaining shut the door on Arellano’s run, 81-73.

After Escamis split his free throws, Lars Sunga was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer.

However, he made just one of his free throws as the Chiefs trailed by eight, 74-82, with 28 seconds remaining.

Marc Cuenco led Mapua with 17 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals. He was followed by Escamis with 15 markers.

Lorenz Capulong recorded a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds.

After finding themselves in an early four-point hole, the Cardinals ended the first quarter on top, 25-20.

Since then, they never took their foot off the gas pedal as they stormed to an 11-point lead, 51-40, at the half.

The league-leading Mapua is now holding a 14-3 win-loss slate. Arellano dropped to 2-14.