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Cardinals deal Soaring Falcons’ 1st loss, Blue Dragons remain unbeaten

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The Mapua Cardinals leaned on strong finish to beat the Adamson Soaring Falcons, 70-65, in the on-going 25th Fr. Martin’s Cup presented by Resorts World Manila Bedans 62-66, and Cocolife at the SGS Gym in Quezon City.

Justin Serrano’s 19 points towed the Cardinals to its second win, to improve to 2-1 in the Group A standings. Denniel Aguirre added 11 markers, with six of them coming into the fourth quarter.

After being tied 53-all to start the final canto, the Intramuros-based squad went to a 10-3 run with back-to-back baskets by Christian Bunag and Justin Serrano.

Papi Sarr and the Doria brothers tried to mount a comeback for Adamson, cutting the deficit to as low as four points with less than five minutes left.

The Cardinals, however, relied on their stout zone defense and never looked back. With their defense the Cardinals forced the Soaring Falcons to turn the ball over multiple times down the stretch, capped off by transition layups made by Eric Jabel and Lawrenz Victoria.

Adam Doria’s torrid outside shooting and Papi Sarr’s strong debut went to naught, as they fell to the fourth spot with a 1-1 record in the Group A standings. They scored 16 and 15 points for the San Marcelino-based squad.

In the other game, Diliman College got their second straight victory at the expense of PCU, 87-73, in Group B of the Seniors Division.

Five players scored in double digits for the Blue Dragons with Ishmael Pacheco, Abdulaye Niang, Mac Enriquez, Robbie Darang, and Johnel Bauzon scoring 17, 14, 12, 12, and 10 respectively.

It was a tale of two halves for the Rensy Bajar-mentored squad as they went on an 8-2 run to start the third period after a slow first half.

The Dolphins, however, answered back with a 6-0 run of their own, led by spitfire guard Mark Ordonez.

The fourth quarter was a different story as Abdulaye Niang’s trey and back-to-back fast break baskets by Mac Enriquez put the game away for good. Their lead even ballooned up to 17 points with less than three minutes left in the game.

Mark Ordonez made his strong debut for PCU with 30 points, but only Raymond Casajeros scored in double digits with 11 for the Dolphins.