The pirates tear up the stags and take the F4 position

Mapua Cardinals photo.-NCAA

One place in the Final Four has already been reserved by league leader Mapua.

On Friday, the high school followed suit.

The Pirates posted an 83-80 victory over San Sebastian in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament to earn a spot in the semifinals at San Juan Arena.

Patrick Montaño came alive just in time to score 22 points for coach Gilbert Malabanan, and Enoch Valdez continued to impress with 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, to go along with three blocks and two steals.

Stags standout Alex Desoyo led Montaño’s 22 points, but San Sebastian still couldn’t find a way to avoid an 11th defeat in 16 games.

Mapua, which was the first to qualify for the Final Four, continued its good streak, defeating weak Arellano in the second game (84-75).

The Cardinals picked up their fifth straight win, maintaining a strong 14-3 lead.

Marc Cuenco paced Mapua with 17 points, four rebounds and four dimes, while top MVP candidate Clint Escamis had 15 points, six rebounds and four assists to help his team push for a two-to-beat defense.

Lorenzo Capulong’s double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds went to waste as the Chiefs fell to a 2-15 card. Meanwhile, Jade Talampas sank four three-pointers en route to a 14-point performance for Arellano.

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