SAN JUAN City – University of the East woke up just in time to escape past a shorthanded Mapua Institute of Technology side, 98-91, in continuing action from the 2016 FilOil Flying V Premier Cup Sunday night (May 29) at the San Juan Arena. The Red Warriors’ defense limited the Cardinals to just a single field goal in the final three minutes as they overhauled a five-point deficit.
Mapua’s lone field goal came courtesy of Darrell Menina that gave them the lead for the last time, 91-89. Edson Batiller quickly tied the score anew and Edgar Charcos delivered the go-ahead shot at the 1:17 mark, 93-91.
Playing with just 10 players suited up, the Cardinals finally gave in as they threw the ball away resulting in a layup and bonus free throw by Paul Varilla with 58 seconds left, 96-91. That proved to be enough as an inconsequential basket at the buzzer settled the final score.
“This is an ugly win,” lamented Coach Frederick Pumaren. “You don’t give up 31 points like what happened in the first, we should only be giving up 16 to 18 points at the most.”
However, Coach Pumaren praised his players for not giving up to keep them in contention for the playoffs. “They have to get used to playing with pressure, it will serve them well come the UAAP,” he added.
Batiller continued to play big with 24 points, four assists and three steals. Charcos likewise was key with 12 points and six rebounds.
The Cardinals missed NCAA MVP Allwell Oraeme for the second straight game. Exeqiel Biteng paced the Cardinals with 19 points while Andrew Estrella returned from the injured list to add 17 points and five assists followed by Menina with 16 points and seven assists.
Meanwhile, Coach Pumaren is looking forward to final elimination round game next Sunday (June 5) when they play UAAP rival Adamson University which is coached by his younger brother Franz. Mapua will wind up their schedule against Ateneo de Manila University on June 2.
How They Scored:
EAST (98) – Batiller 24, Charcos 12, P. Varilla 11, de Leon 10, Palma 10, Acuno 7, Larupay 5, Olayon 4, Pasaol 4, Sta. Ana 3, Manalang 3, Armenion 3, Penuela 2, Gagate 0, J. Varilla 0, Poblete 0, Bartolome 0.
MAPUA TECH (91) – Biteng 19, Estrella 17, Menina 16, Isit 12, Raflores 9, Gamboa 4, Bunag 4, de la Rosa 4, de la Cruz 4, Serrano 2.
Period Scores: 20-31, 47-54, 72-75, 98-91.
SENIORS DIVISION STANDINGS
Perpetual Help 4-2
Far Eastern 3-3
San Sebastian 3-3
Saint Benilde 1-5
Emilio Aguinaldo 1-5
De La Salle 5-0
San Beda 4-1
Ateneo de Manila 3-3
Mapua Tech 1-5
JUNIORS DIVISION STANDINGS
Far Eastern-Diliman 2-1
La Salle Green Hills 2-2
Malayan Science 1-2
Immaculate Conception-EAC 0-4
San Beda-Rizal 2-1
De La Salle-Zobel 1-2
Ateneo de Manila 0-2
Note: Games through May 29, 2016.