Cardinals earn first winning streak after surviving Pirates

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 31, 2015 05:09 PM
Cardinals earn first winning streak after surviving Pirates
GOOD ENOUGH. Mapua's 68-point first half proved to be enough for them to claim back-to-back wins.

While a 68-point first half had them soaring high,  it was a defense that bent but did not break that gave Mapua Institute of Technology its first winning streak in the NCAA 91 Men's Basketball Tournament

The Cardinals were completely outplayed in the second half, but did just enough to hold on for a 109-95 triumph over the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates on Friday at the San Juan Arena.

Mapua shot an eye-popping 73 percent from the floor in the first two quarters for a commanding 68-28 lead at the half. However, a fiery pep talk by head coach Topex Robinson transformed the Pirates into a different team that exploded for a 35-point third period while holding their opponents to only 18.

Channelling the Alaska Aces team Robinson also coaches for, the Pirates obliterated the double-digit deficit and surged to as close as 95-101 inside the last two minutes. The rally, however, proved to be too little, too late as the Cardinals closed the game with a 4-0 finishing kick.

Sharing how he and his team felt, Josan Nimes said in his post-game conference, “This was the scariest win I've ever played in.”

Allwell Oraeme posted 26 points, 20 rebounds, and five blocks while Nimes had 24 points, six rebounds, and six assists for Mapua’s second consecutive victory coming from a 1-3 record.

Shaq Alanes and Mer Ayaay scored 35 of their combined 49 points in the second half which proved to  fall short in stopping Lyceum from dropping to 1-5.

BOX SCORES

MAPUA 109 – Oraeme 26, Nimes 24, Biteng 12, Isit 9, Raflores 9, Nieles 7, Serrano 6, Aguirre 6, Que 5, Menina 5, Stevens 0, Layug 0

LYCEUM 95 – Alanes 27, Ayaay 22, Baltazar 14, Nguidjol 8, Lacastesantos 6, Mbida 6, Sunga 3, Soliman 3, Bulawan 3, Gabayni 2, Lugo 1, Malabanan 0, Marata 0, Taladua 0, Elmejrab 0

BOX SCORES: 34-12, 68-28, 87-63, 109-95

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