Oraeme-less Cardinals pull off great escape on Generals

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 15, 2016 04:38 PM
Oraeme-less Cardinals pull off great escape on Generals
CLOSE CALL. CJ Isit and Mapua were just a bit better than very game EAC.

Again close, but again not quite for Emilio Aguinaldo College in the 92nd Season of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

With two golden opportunities for an upset, the Generals instead ended up with a turnover and a missed three which essentially allowed Mapua Institute of Technology to register their fourth win in a row and regain a share of first.

Under siege by much-improved EAC and missing Allwell Oraeme, the Cardinals followed the lead of veterans CJ Isit and Andoy Estrella to a thrilling 70-67 triumph on Friday at the San Juan Arena.

In a battle of attrition featuring 12 lead changes and four deadlocks, it was Mapua who got a nose ahead late, 68-63. However, back-to-back hits from Hamadou Laminou neared the Generals to only a single point with 23 ticks on the clock.

EAC’s chances got even better after Isit was only able to convert one of his two charities. Just down, 67-69, however, Francis Munsayac overthrew a pass to a waiting Jerald Serrano and gave possession back to their opponents.

Sent to the line, a split was also what Estrella produced for a three-point advantage in favor of the Cardinals. With one last chance to force extra time, Munsayac’s triple try hit the back of the rim to cement the fate of the Generals.

In lieu of Oraeme who was battling the flu, it was rookie Almel Orquina who topped the scoring column with 13 points. Isit and Estrella then added a combined 24 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in Mapua’s rise to 4-0.

On the other hand, EAC lost for the third time in four games. However, three of those were competitive contests which have done nothing but prove that they have indeed stepped up their play from last season.

BOX SCORES

MAPUA 70 - Orquina 13, Estrella 12, Isit 12, Eriobu 9, Biteng 6, Bunag 6, Victoria 6, Menina 4, Serrano 2, Magboo 0, Raflores 0.

EAC 67 - Laminou 13, Onwubere 13, Morada 12, Munsayac 11, Diego 8, King 7, Pascua 2, General 1, Corilla 0, Estacio 0, Guzman 0, Serrano 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 19-10, 36-37, 56-53, 70-67.

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