Games Today
(Filoil EcoOil Arena)
2 p.m. — EAC vs Letran
4 p.m. — LPU vs Mapua

BY THE TIME the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 99 ends, guard Clint Escamis could end up as the league’s Most Valuable Player and his Mapua Cardinals the champions.

But Mapua’s favorite son knows the Cardinals and he would need to scale a mountain to achieve even just one of the two possibilities. “Of course, my main goal is to help my team win a championship, the individual awards would just be a bonus,” said 5’-11” guard Escamis, whose team faces off with Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) in today’s league resumption at the Filoil EcoOil Arena.

Mr. Escamis has been having a fairy tale season, averaging 15.09 points (league best), six rebounds, 4.55 assists (third) and 4.09 steals (first) while towing Mapua to the top with a 9-2 record.

Mr. Escamis should again carry the load against the Pirates, the No. 2 team with an 8-3 mark, in their 4 p.m. showdown that many believed could be a preview of this year’s finals.

The other match pits Emilio Aguinaldo College or EAC (6-5) with the once mighty Letran (1-10).

The last time they met, it was Mr. Escamis who shone the brightest after he carved up the Pirates with a 20-point, nine-board, seven-dime and four-swipe performance that resulted in an 87-83 win on Oct. 14.

Mr. Escamis was also coming off a 21-point effort in a 69-66 win over the Knights a week ago.

And it wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t returned to the same school he helped win two NCAA juniors championships after a forgettable, injury-riddled stint in the UAAP.

“No regrets but my heart was always with Mapua,” said Mr. Escamis. — Joey Villar