Mapua stuns CSB; Perpetual snaps 3-loss streak

MANILA, Philippines – The Mapua Cardinals evaded a 2nd half collapse to stun the contending CSB Blazers, 86-83, at the NCAA Season 94 men's basketball tournament in the FilOil Flying V Centre on Tuesday, September 18.

After being down by as many as 14 at the half, 35-49, CSB blazed on to take their first lead of the game, 70-69, off Unique Naboa's free-throws at the 6:12 mark of the 4th.

However, the streaky Cardinals responded with an 11-3 run, ending with a wild Laurenz Victoria fling-up shot, 80-73, with 2:32 left in regulation.

Blazer big man Clement Leutcheu came up clutch with a 3-point play, 80-82, but Cardinals' rookie Warren Bonifacio sealed the deal with a clutch mid-range jumper, 84-80, with 33 ticks left.

Mapua has now won back-to-back games while CSB has slid down two straight.

Victoria led Mapua to victory with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Bonifacio was right on his heels with 12 points, 5 boards and 4 assists.

Justin Gutang suffered a second-straight heartbreak loss after his game-winning buzzer-beater was waved off against San Sebastian. He did, however, lead the Blazers anew with 22 points, 9 boards and 5 dimes in the loss. Reserve guard Jimboy Pasturan chipped in 16 markers and 6 boards off the bench.

In the second game, the Perpetual Help Altas drubbed the Arellano Chiefs, 57-45, snapping a 3-game losing streak.

All it took was a lockdown 18-4 2nd quarter, 33-14, for the fifth-place Altas to establish a comfortable lead down the stretch. At the halftime mark, reigning Defensive Player of the Year Prince Eze already had 11 points, just 3 short of the entire opposing Chiefs squad.

Arellano's offense slightly improved in the 2nd half but also blew multiple open looks in the waning minutes of the 4th as Perpetual simply held on to their lead.

Eze again stuffed the statsheet with 20 points, 19 rebounds and 4 blocks in the much-needed win for the contending Altas. Edgar Charcos contributed 6 points, 4 boards, 4 assists and 4 steals in his return from injury but only shot 3/13 (23%), missing all 7 of his looks from downtown.

Michael Cañete was the Chiefs' lone bright spot with a 15-point, 13-board double-double. Usual stalwarts Kraniel Villoria and Levi Dela Cruz only combined for 5 points on a dismal 3/22 (14%) clip.

Arellano as a whole shot 13/72 (18%) from the field en route to their 7th loss in 11 games. Meanwhile, the Altas are just one win out of the Final Four race after CSB's back-to-back losses.

The Scores:

First Game:

Mapua 86 - Victoria 16, Bonifacio 12, Serrano 12, Lugo 11, Pelayo 10, Aguirre 9, Gamboa 8, Buñag 4, Jabel 2, Biteng 2, Nieles 0.

CSB 83 - Gutang 22, Pasturan 16, Leutcheu 15, Naboa 10, Nayve 10, Haruna 8, Dixon 2, Belgica 0, Velasco 0, Young 0.

Quarters: 28-19, 49-35, 63-55, 86-83.

Second Game:

Perpetual 57 – Eze 20, Peralta 10, Razon 9, Coronel 8, Charcos 6, Cuevas 3, Magalino 1, Aurin 0, Jimenez 0, Pasia 0, Tamayo 0.

Arellano 45 – Cañete 15, Sera Josef 8, Concepcion 7, Dela Cruz 5, Dela Torre 3, Villoria 2, Segura 2, Alcoriza 2, Abdurasad 1, Codiñera 0, Ongolo Ongolo 0, Sacramento 0, Santos 0, Bayla 0.

Quarters: 15-10, 33-14, 46-28, 57-45.

STANDINGS

Lyceum 12-0
San Beda 11-1
Letran 7-4
CSB 7-5
Perpetual 6-5
Arellano 4-7
Mapua 4-8
San Sebastian 3-9
EAC 2-9
JRU 2-10