Season 91 host Mapua Institute of Technology made another noise as the Cardinals turned the tables over for Arellano University, 81-76, in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Division on Friday, at the FilOil Flying V Arena, San Juan.
The win sent Coach Atoy Co’s Cardinals to their tenth win in fifteen games (10-5), to forge a two-way tie on the overall fourth spot alongside the tormented Arellano Chiefs.
Once again, Nigerian reinforcement Allwell Oraeme held a stellar stance on the painted lane with his monstrous 30 rebounds, to go along with 15 points to lead all scorers in Mapua.
In addition to Oraeme, Exe Biteng dished 15 points, followed by Justin Serrano with 14 markers to back up the Cardinals in pushing their hopes up for a stint in the upcoming Final Four contention.
The Chiefs got their groove going for the middle parts of the backbreaking match, and gained the upperhand on the second and third quarters to look ahead for a hard-earned win.
But Mapua simply refused to be outgunned heading to the payoff frame.
The Intramuros-based squad pulled an 8-point threat to keep Arellano at 76-68 midway through the final canto, thanks to Justin Serrano and Mark Brana, who both took their chances on the three-point arc to fire for the Cardinals.
The Chiefs tried to held on for dear life on the final minutes of the clock, and Donald Gumaru sank a clutch triple to redeem the momentum of the Chiefs, but that proved to be the last contribution of Gumaru on the game as he had a bad fall and had to leave the match for good.
Meanwhile, Michael Salado led with 17 points, while Jiovani Jalalon contributed 16 markers for the Arellano Chiefs.
Mapua Cardinals (81) – Oraeme 15, Biteng 15, Serrano 14, Brana 11, Nieles 8, Menina 7, Que 3, Nimes 3, Raflores 3, Isit 2, Villasenor 0.
Arellano Chiefs (76) – Salado 17, Jalalon 16, Gumaru 13, Holts 9, Meca 7, Bangga 7, Cadavis 4, Nicholls 3, Capara 0, Enriquez 0, Ortega 0, Tano 0.