Cardinals swoop in late to steal win against Stags

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 02, 2015 06:57 PM
Cardinals swoop in late to steal win against Stags
CARDINAL VICTORY. Everything came together for Mapua in the last three minutes as they came back from behind for their first victory.

For the second straight game in the 91st Season of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, the Mapua Institute of Technology found themselves playing catch up to a traditional powerhouse.

It was a different outcome for the Cardinals this time around, however, as they surrendered nothing in the last two and a half minutes to complete a come from behind victory against the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Golden Stags, 88-86, on Thursday at the San Juan Arena.

Jamil Ortuoste rained in 15 points in the first half and boosted San Sebastian to an eleven point advantage in the third until Mapua mounted a 17-4 run to suddenly take a 67-65 edge into the fourth. The game was knotted at 69 before the Stags detonated an 11-2 blast to reclaim the lead, 80-71, with 5:49 remaining.

After a timeout, however, Allwell Oraeme stood tall in the middle as the Cardinals ended the contest on a 16-6 push. San Sebastian’s last point was Ortuoste’s split from the free throw line with 2:23 on the clock that still had them ahead 86-83 before Josan Nimes and CJ Isit scored four straight to send Mapua ahead with 21 seconds left.

Darell Menina then made one of two free throws that proved to be the winning margin as the Stags' last attempt ended with Ortuoste losing control of the ball behind the halfcourt line.

Nimes and Mark Brana scored 20 and 18 points, respectively, to show the way for the Cardinals who clinched their first victory in their second game of the season.

“It feels really good because everybody knows that the first win is always the hardest to get,” Nimes said in their post-win interview.

Despite the season-opening loss, San Sebastian’ new era under new head coach Rodney Santos is off to a promising start with Ortuoste’s 21 markers leading four other players in double-figures.

BOX SCORES

MAPUA 88 – Nimes 20, Brana 18, Oraeme 15, Isit 14, Que 7, Aguirre 7, Menina 4, Stevens 2, Villasenor 2, Biteng 0, Serrano 0, Dela Rosa 0, Raflores 0

SAN SEBASTIAN 86 – Ortuoste 21, Calisaan 19, Costelo 16, Guinto 13, Fabian 13, Santos 4, Sibal 0, Pretta 0, Bulanadi 0, Vera 0, David 0, Capobres 0, Mercado 0

QUARTER SCORES: 25-29, 41-50, 67-65, 88-86

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