Mapua thwarts Arellano, remains unbeaten in NCAA second round
MANILA, Philippines – Mapua Institute of Technology continued its rampage in the second round of the NCAA Season 91 basketball tourney by routing Arellano University, 81-76, on Friday, September 18 at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
The Cardinals extended their winning streak to 6 games with a stellar performance from Allwell Oraeme, who had 10 baskets and matched his rebounding output against Colegio de San Juan de Letran on Tuesday, September 15 with 30 boards.
Exequiel Biteng also contributed to Mapua’s victory over Arellano with 15 markers, while Justin Serrano and Mark Brana combined 25 points.
Meanwhile, veteran skipper Josan Nimes had three points as he only strutted his wares for eight minutes as he is still recovering from a hamstring injury.
Trailing by 8 points at the start of the final frame, the Intramuros-based brigade spearheaded a 17-4 run to take a 71-66 edge at the midway point of the fourth quarter, which included a game-tying buckey by Brana and an and-one play by Serrano.
“It was kinda sluggish to say the least, but in the second half, we got rid of it,” said assistant coach Ed Cordero, who was tasked to call the shots for Mapua as head mentor Atoy Co remains under suspension.
A beyond-the-arc jumper by Donald Gumaru closed the Chiefs to 73-76 with 56 ticks left on the clock, but Mapua responded by converting 5 out of six charities from the foul line.
“The blessing is we were not really complete, but it shows that we are becoming a team,” Cordero quipped.
The sixth-consecutive win in the second round of the double-round robin eliminations improved Mapua’s standing to 10-5 and moved into a tie at the fourth spot with Arellano.
Arellano was led by Michael Salado and Jiovani Jalalon, who amassed 17 and 16 points respectively in the Chiefs’ losing drive against the Cardinals.
Mapua (81) - Oraeme 15, Biteng 15, Serrano 14, Brana 11, Nieles 8, Menina 7, Que 3, Nimes 3, Raflores 3, Isit 2, Villasenor 0.
Arellano (76) - Salado 17, Jalalon 16, Gumaru 13, Holts 9, Meca 7, Bangga 7, Cadavis 4, Nicholls 3, Capara 0, Enriquez 0, Ortega 0, Tano 0.
Quarter scores: 23-20, 33-43, 54-62, 81-76