Brana helps Mapua survive JRU’s late-game surge
MANILA, Philippines – Mark Brana’s 3-point play in the dying seconds secured a 68-67 win for Mapua Institute of Technology against Jose Rizal University in the men's basketball tournament of NCAA Season 91 on Tuesday, September 8 at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
With 5.9 ticks left, Brana completed an and-one after recovering the ball from a 3-point shot attempt by JP Nieles and putting it back in before being fouled.
The Intramuros-based Cardinals improved its win-loss record to 7-5 in the ongoing NCAA men’s senior basketball tourney and claimed the solo fifth-place spot in the standings.
However, Mapua head coach Atoy Co was not impressed with his team’s victory over the Vergel Meneses-mentored JRU.
“Lucky shot. Luckily, Brana was under the goal, and he was fouled and then made his freethrows. Lady Luck is on our side,” he quipped in the post-game interview.
MVP frontrunner Allwell Oraeme had 19 markers and 27 boards, while Brana has 12 points for the red-and-yellow troop.
Mapua created a 51-42 cushion early in the fourth period until Bernabe “Teytey” Teodoro converted 16 of his 18 baskets in the final frame and sparked a 20-8 blitz that took the lead for the Heavy Bombers, 62-59, in the last 3 minutes.
JRU managed to stay ahead with a 67-65 edge and appeared going towards the triumph with Paolo Pontejos, deflecting a triple try by Nieles before Brana accomplished his 3-point play.
With Darell Menina and CJ Isit preventing Teodoro to have the ball, Ervin Grospe’s in-and-out fadeaway became JRU’s last try to get the game-winning blow, but it was short.
“We were just lucky. We were lucky the last shot was short,” Co said.
With the disappointing defeat to Mapua, JRU downgrades its slate to 6-6.
Mapua (68) - Oraeme 19, Brana 12, Biteng 12, Isit 6, Nimes 6, Nieles 5, Menina 4, Serrano 2, Layug 2, Que 0, Aguirre 0.
JRU (67) - Pontejos 21, Teodoro 18, Grospe 8, Sanchez 6, Abdul Wahab 4, Dela Paz 4, Cruz 3, Poutouochi 2, Astilla 1, Lasquety 0, Aurin 0, Dela Virgen 0.
Quarter scores: 17-13, 29-31, 49-42, 68-67.