Mapua-Malayan leaned on a splendid fourth quarter showing as it edged out Ateneo de Manila University, 89-82, to clinch the championship in the juniors division of the 11th FilOil Flying Preseason Premier Cup on Sunday at The Arena in San Juan City.
After trailing closely for most of the first 30 minutes, the Red Robins outscored the Blue Eaglets, 30-20, in the pivotal payoff period en route to their first Premier Cup title.
Clint Escamina topscored for Mapua with 23 points while Warren Bonifacio notched a double-double of 18 markers and 12 rebounds.
Most Valuable Player awardee Will Gozum also tallied a double-double, pouring 17 points and hauling down 14 boards with 10 of them coming off the defensive glass.
Mythical Five member Dave Ildefonso carried the scoring load for the runner-up Ateneo with 16 points while lanky center Kai Sotto added 15 markers and 14 rebounds.
The reigning National Collegiate Athletic Association juniors’ champion was still running behind until Bonifacio pushed the Red Robins ahead, 53-52, with a jumper at the 3:42 mark of the third frame.
Joaquin Garcia drained a trey as Mapua cruised to a commanding 82-75 lead with under three minutes remaining as the Robins kept the Eaglets at bay in the endgame to bag the trophy.
Meanwhile, National University snagged the third place as it foiled University of Santo Tomas, 86-75.
Rhayyan Amsali drilled in 30 points to go along with 14 rebounds while Winderlich Coyoca and Pao Javillonar chipped in 16 and 14, markers respectively for the Bullpups.
Paolo Hernandez, who was part of the Mythical Five, netted 14 points on top of six rebounds and five assists for the Tiger Cubs in a losing effort.