Mapua University surged on top of the standings after huge back-to-back wins over powerhouse squads behind the heroics of homegrown rookie Clint Escamis.
The freshman rose to the occasion to power the Cardinals to a 6-1 win-loss record with just two games left in the first round of the National Collegiate Association Season 99 seniors basketball tournament.
He displayed an all-around game, averaging 20 points, 8.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 6.0 steals the past week in an impressive display of skills on both ends of the floor.
Escamis’ performance did not go unnoticed as he got the unanimous nod to win the Collegiate Press Corps NCAA Player of the Week.
He became the second straight Mapua player to be given the citation after teammate Paolo Hernandez last week.
Escamis edged out King Gurtiza of Emilio Aguinaldo College, University of Perpetual Help System Dalta’s Jun Roque, Jacob Cortez of San Beda University, and Migs Oczon of College of Saint Benilde for the weekly honors presented by San Miguel Corporation and backed by Discovery Suites and Jockey.
The 23-year-old guard dropped 20 points laced by seven rebounds, five assists, and a whopping eight steals to steer Mapua to a 77-71 win against defending champion Letran College.
But Escamis was not done yet as the capped off the week with another stellar outing in their 87-83 triumph over erstwhile league-leader Lyceum of the Philippines University.
Against the Pirates, the former Mapua high school standout scattered 20 markers, highlighted by a clutch top-of-the-key dagger triple, and filled the stats box with nine boards, seven dimes, four blocks and four steals.
For Escamis, it’s all about repaying the trust that Mapua gave him.
“I’m really thankful for the opportunity given to me by coach Randy (Alcantara) and coach Yong (Garcia). I thank God that shot went in,” Escamis said.
The 5-foot-11 playmaker knows the job is far from done, setting his sights on their next games as the Cardinals eye a Final Four return.
“There was a lot of excitement towards this game because this is the ‘Battle of Intramuros’ and the battle for No. 1 seed. We have to keep on working; on to the next,” he said.