Mapua claws way back from 11 points down, flies to third-seed

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 23, 2016 04:23 PM
Mapua claws back from 11 points down, flies to third-seed
I CAN DO BETTER. Mapua shut down Perpetual in the fourth quarter to take possession of the third-seed.

Up against the stingiest defensive unit in the NCAA 92 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Mapua Institute of Technology displayed a stingy defense of their own to leave no doubt as to who the third-seed is.

Allowing no makes and just two points in the final frame, the Cardinals came from behind to top University of Perpetual Help, 67-63, on Friday at the San Juan Arena.

Looking up at an 11-point deficit after three quarters, Atoy Co’s boys turned up the defensive intensity to make the game interesting once again. “Dumepensa na kasi kami,” the fiery coach said, matter-of-factly, about the turning point in their rise to 12-6.

Still, Mapua were chasing down a two-point deficit inside the last four minutes until Darrel Menina’s corner triple granted them a slim 63-62 margin. Joseph Eriobu then followed that up with his own baseline jumper to punctuate their 15-1 run to begin the pivotal period.

Prince Eze split from the stripe to stop the bleeding and pull the Altas to within 63-65, but the Cardinals weren’t letting up on defense just yet and allowed no more makes the rest of the way. Eriobu’s conversion of his couple of charities were just the cherry on top of the icing in the cake that is the third-seed.

Allwell Oraeme had 14 points and 24 rebounds, but was not alone in doing the heavy lifting as Eriobu also contributed 10 points and six rebounds

Mapua will now wait for the decision between first-running Arellano University and San Beda College ongoing as of press time. “It’s nicer going into the Final Four na panalo. ‘Di mababa loob mo,” Co expressed.

For Perpetual, it was Prinze Eze who showed the way with 12 points, six rebounds, and five blocks. Unable to make up for the absence of Bright Akhuetie, however, they drop to 11-7 and settle for the fourth-seed.

BOX SCORES

MAPUA 67 – Oraeme 14, Eriobu 10, Estrella 10, Victoria 8, Orquina 6, Isit 5, Menina 5, Raflores 4, Dela Rosa 4, Serrano 1, Bunag 0, Aguirre 0

PERPETUAL 63 – Eze 12, Ylagan 10, Hao 9, Dagangon 7, Mangalino 6, Coronel 5, Sadiwa 5, Yuhico 4, Dizon 3, Pido 2, Gallardo 0, Oliveria 0, Singontiko 0

QUARTER SCORES: 23-13, 32-37, 50-61, 67-63

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