NCAA Season 91 host Mapua almost dumped a 43-point first half advantage before outdueling Lyceum, 109-95, on Friday in the Men’s Basketball Division at the FilOil Flying V Arena, San Juan.
Allwell Oraeme aced with 26 points and 20 boards, while returning veteran Josan Nimes added 24 points for the Mapua Cardinals, who evened their win-loss record at 3-3.
Mapua set the first quarter on fire as it pummeled the Pirates with premature crisp jumpers and triples from Nimes and CJ Isit which instantly built a two-digit lead over Lyceum.
The Intramuros-based Cardinals looked to engineer a lopsided aftermath at Lyceum’s expense and enjoyed a 64-21 mountain gap at the half, but this proved to be the only huge advantage Mapua has tallied.
It is now the time for the Lyceum Pirates show in the second half. Lyceum unexpectedly overhauled the 43-point Mapua lead down by just 7 inside the final five minutes of the game.
This disappointing turnaround saw Mapua Cardinals coach Atoy Co taking off his shirt and waving it in front of the Cardinals’ bench to show his frustration over the referees’ view and call of the sudden Lyceum retaliation in the second half. The PBA legend was then ejected from the game afterwards.
The Pirates kept the end of their tunnel within reach, only to fail in the end as the Cardinals seemed to recoup their momentum and finish off the grindout still in their favor.
“To tell you the truth, I don’t know what happened. This has been a wake-up call for us. I’m just happy that we still came out with the win”, said Mapua Cardinas veteran Josan Nimes.
Meanwhile, Shaq Alanes topscored with 27 points for the Pirates, who drowned on a 1-5 slate to forge a three-way logjam alongside the EAC Generals and San Sebastian Golden Stags.
Mapua Cardinals (109) — Oraeme 26, Nimes 24, Biteng 12, Isit 9, Raflores 9, Nieles 7, Serrano 6, Aguirre 6, Que 5, Menina 5, Stevens 0, Layug 0.
Lyceum Pirates (95) — Alanes 27, Ayaay 22, Baltazar 14, Nguidjol 8, Lacastesantos 6, Mbida 6, Sunga 3, Soliman 3, Bulawan 3, Gabayni 2, Lugo 1, Malabanan 0, Marata 0, Taladua 0, Elmejrab 0.