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Mapua veterans come to terms with disappointing campaign

MANILA, Philippines – After back-to-back final 4 appearances, the Mapua Cardinals had a nightmarish campaign in the NCAA Season 93 men's basketball tournament, when they mustered only 3 wins and finished at the bottom of the league standings.

Their drop in form was understandable. Two-time NCAA Most Valuable Player Allwell Oraeme did not join the team for Season 93, and guard Darell Menina left as well. The injury bug also bit the team hard, as Kim Magboo, Andoy Estrella, and JP Nieles all missed games.

Andoy Estrella (21) is one of two Mapua players graduating after the team's disappointing NCAA Season 93 campaign. ABS-CBN Sports
"It's not the season that we've been praying for," graduating guard Leo Gabo wryly noted after Mapua wrapped up its campaign with an 81-64 loss to Arellano University. "It's not what we've been hoping for."

Losing Oraeme was a massive blow to the team, as were the injuries to Magboo, Estrella, and Nieles. There were games wherein coach Atoy Co only had eight players at his disposal. The silver lining, perhaps, was that big man Christian Bunag had a breakout year, but ultimately the Cardinals simply did not have enough firepower to compete against the other NCAA squads.

"Lahat ng challenges, mentally at lalo na physically, siyempre emotionally, naranasan namin this season," said Gabo, who addressed the media on Tuesday afternoon beside a teary-eyed Estrella, who has been his teammate since they were in high school at Angelicum College.

Author: Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News
Full Article: http://news.abs-cbn.com/sports/10/18/17/ncaa-mapua-veterans-come-to-terms-with-disappointing-campaign

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