Mapua scores fourth straight win
Mark Escarlote on Sep 11, 2015 04:43 PM
Mapua's Allwell Oraeme and Joseph Gabayni of Lyceum of the Philippines University fighting for position in a rebound play.
Mapua coach Atoy Co relished his fourth straight win.
He just missed the chance to celebrate with the Cardinals on court.
Co was ejected with 6:10 in the fourth quarter and the Cardinals used the absence of their mentor as a rallying point to weather the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates’ late fight back, 70-66, Friday in the 91st NCAA seniors basketball competition at The Arena in San Juan.
Justin Serrano scored 15 points, Mark Brana had 10 markers while point guard John Nieles nailed half of is 10 points in the payoff period including a backbreaking triple in the last two minutes for Mapua, which played without injured Josan Nimes (hamstring).
The Cardinals remained in fifth spot with an 8-5 win-loss record.
“I’ve been telling them that we’re going in to this time na talagang everybody has to step up. We cannot afford na mawala kami sa kondisyon, kailangan laging nasa tip-top shape kami especially compared to the other teams we are pretty small,” said Co, who was whistled with a technical foul for continuous complaining.
“Kaya ang game namin talaga is to run. Kaya kung mawawala sila sa kondisyon mahihirapan kami,” he added.
Co got thrown out after complaining about a call on Allwell Oraeme, who scored eight points and hauled down 14 rebounds, that had him hitting the showers with 6:10 remaining.
LPU, already out of the Final Four contention and down with four straight losses, cut its 66-58 deficit at the end of the third to 62-65 halfway through the fourth canto.
Nieles scored on a layup before Joseph Gabayni, back after serving a three-game ban, got the Pirates back to within three, 64-67, with 3:48.
The spunky guard swished in a shot clock-beating triple to widen Mapua’s gap in the last two minutes.
Gabayni finished with 21 points, Wilson Baltazar had 14, while Jean Njuidjol scored 12 points and 12 rebounds for LPU.
Second Game (Srs)
MIT (70) - Serrano 15, Braña 10, Nieles 10, Menina 8, Oraeme 8, Isit 6, Que 6, Biteng 5, Aguirre 2, Layug 0, Raflores 0.
LPU (66) - Gabayni 21, Baltazar 14, Nguidjol 12, Ayaay 8, Bulawan 3, Marata 3, Malabanan 2, Soliman 2, Sunga 1, Lugo 0, Mbida 0.
Quarter Scores: 25-12, 37-25, 58-45, 70-66
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles