Blazing backcourt makes sure Cardinals stay at second

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 22, 2016 04:23 PM
Blazing backcourt makes sure Cardinals stay at second
THE OTHER GUYS. Exe Biteng, Darell Menina, and Andoy Estrella were more than enough to make sure Mapua remains just one loss out of first-place.

For the first time for Mapua Institute of Technology in the 92nd Season of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Allwell Oraeme wasn’t the star of the show.

This time around on Friday at the San Juan Arena, the spotlight shone bright on Exe Biteng, Darell Menina, and Andoy Estrella in the Cardinals’ 88-75 triumph over San Sebastian College-Recoletos.

Atoy Co’s three-headed backcourt combined for 48 points, eight triples, and 13 assists and fueled the 31-point second quarter that gave them the advantage they would keep until the final buzzer.

With their three guards on-point, Mapua didn’t even feel the loss of CJ Isit who sustained a finger injury in the opening period. Reigning MVP Oraeme didn’t have to do much scoring as well and only had – for his standards – 13 points to go along with 22 rebounds, five assists, and five blocks.

Moving forward from their first setback the last time around, the Cardinals now stand firmly in solo second with a 5-1 win-loss record. “We really needed this game kasi yung next three games namin, mahirap,” coach Atoy Co said in his post-game conference.

Indeed, Mapua will next face fellow top five teams San Beda College, University of Perpetual Help, and Colegio de San Juan de Letran.

On the other hand, the Golden Stags dropped their fourth in a row following a tournament-opening win. Little-known Justine Mercardo was their high man with an 18-point, 11-rebound double-double.

BOX SCORES

MAPUA 88 - Biteng 19, Menina 15, Estrella 14, Oraeme 13, Eriobu 12, Isit 7, Serrano 6, Orquina 2, Aguirre 0, Bunag 0, Victoria 0.

SAN SEBASTIAN 75 - Mercado 18, Ilagan 17, Calisaan 9, Quipse 7, Capobres 6, Valdez 6, Fabian 5, Johnson 5, Bulanadi 2, Baetiong 0, David 0, Calma 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 20-20, 51-42, 64-53, 88-75.

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