Clutch Estrella carries Mapua to first winning streak in season

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 05, 2017 06:39 PM
Estrella carries Mapua to first winning streak in season
GOT THIS. Andoy Estrella once again proved his clutch credentials in Mapua's comeback against Perpetual.

Both Mapua University and University of Perpetual Help no longer had anything to play for in the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

And yet, the two teams left it all on the floor when they met at the Filoil Flying V Centre on Thursday.

In the end, Andoy Estrella proved to be the difference between them, scoring the game-tying and go-ahead baskets as the Cardinals came from behind to frustrate the Altas, 76-71.

The Intramuros-based squad was staring at a five-point deficit, 63-68, inside the last four minutes before rallying around JP Nieles who was stretchered out of the floor due to an apparent left knee injury. “Sa huling huddle namin, sinabi namin na para kay JP ang game na ‘to,” Estrella sharedpost-game.

From there, they went on an 11-3 fightback punctuated by Estrella’s floater that tied the game and then his booming triple that sent them ahead, 74-71, with 20 ticks to go.

Following another defensive stop, Leo Gabo broke away for a fastbreak layup, putting the icing on top of the cake that was Mapua’s first back-to-back wins in the tournament.

Their team captain wound up with 22 points, four rebounds, and four assists. More than that, his five straight points in the endgame yet again proved his clutch credentials.

Christian Bunag also continued to be a ray of light with another double-double of 19 points and 14 rebounds in this one while Laurenz Victoria had 14 markers to his name.

With their back-to-back wins, the Cardinals are no longer at the bottom of the standing as their 3-12 record is better than College of St. Benilde’s at 3-13.

That is more than enough consolation for a team which fell out of the contention it had been for the past two seasons. “Sobrang laking bagay ‘tong (first back-to-back wins) para sa susunod na season para kumpyansa ng mga bata,” Estrella expressed.

The same can’t be said for Perpetual which has now lost six times in a row for a 4-10 standing.

That, despite the best efforts of GJ Ylagan who scored 22 points on top of six rebounds and Keith Pido who chipped in 16 markers and six boards.

Prince Eze posted a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double in his first game knowing for sure that he is no longer eligible to be MVP.

BOX SCORES

MAPUA 76 - Estrella 22, Buñag 19, Victoria 14, Aguirre 9, Gabo 6, Raflores 6, Jimenez 0, Nieles 0, Orquina 0, Pelayo 0.

PERPETUAL 71 - Ylagan 22, Pido 18, Eze 15, Sadiwa 5, Yuhico 5, Lucente 4, Dagangon 2, Clemente 0, Coronel 0, Mangalino 0, Tamayo 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 22-17, 38-42, 55-55, 76-71.

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