Cardinals fly away with last Final Four berth

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 13, 2015 04:23 PM
Cardinals fly away with last Final Four berth
BREAKTHROUGH. Head coach Atoy Co and Josan Nimes will both be making their first Final Four appearance for Mapua.

Playing in what could have been his final collegiate game on Wednesday at the MOA Arena, Josan Nimes went out and said, “Not just yet!”

Jiovani Jalalon refused to quit, but Nimes just had more firepower to back him up as Mapua Institute of Technology defeated Arellano University, 93-75, for the fourth and final playoff seat in the NCAA 91 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The Cardinals’ graduating guard scored nine points in a 19-3 rampage that turned a three-point lead into a 49-33 advantage at the half. The second quarter blast proved to be just what the season hosts needed to get pushed into the next round while also blowing Arellano away from the tournament.

Nimes finished with 21 points and also had ample help with Allwell Oraeme adding a monster 13-point, 28-rebound double-double while CJ Isit and Darell Menina chipped in 14 points apiece. “What’s important for our team is that we’re peaking at the right time,” the Cardinals’ team captain said in his post-game conference, talking about their record since the start of the second round.

Jalalon poured in 37 points, 14 coming in the final frame, and dragged the Chiefs to as close as 65-76 with a booming triple inside the last five minutes After launching the shot, however, “The Bus Driver” landed wrong and sprained his left foot.

Arellano’s star took their momentum with him to the bench and Mapua managed a double-digit advantage the rest of the way.

The season hosts battle Jose Rizal University on Friday still at the MOA Arena to determine who between them is the third- and fourth-seeds.

BOX SCORES

MAPUA 93 – Nimes 21, Isit 14, Menina 14, Oraeme 13, Serrano 10, Brana 10, Aguirre 6, Nieles 5, Que 0

ARELLANO 75 – Jalalon 37, Salado 9, Cadavis 7, Nicholls 6, Meca 4, Bangga 4, Tano 4, Holts 2, Enriquez 2, Ongolo 0, Gumaru 0, Ortega 0, Zamora 0

QUARTER SCORES: 16-15, 49-33, 69-51, 93-75

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