SAN JUAN City – Mapua Institute of Technology is on a roll after tallying their third straight win at the resumption of the 92nd National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) games at the San Juan Arena Tuesday (July 12). The Cardinals though showed some rust at first before settling down to scuttle next door neighbor Lyceum of the Philippines University, 75-64, thus keeping the Pirates winless in three starts.
An up and down first half gave Mapua a slim 38-35 edge. They then buckled down on defense and allowed the Pirates only one field goal in the third period – the period’s opening basket – thus running away entering the fourth period, 58-42.
Exeqiel Biteng led the third period charge with a pair of triples en route and Allwell Oraeme asserted his might inside. Lyceum did not help their cause by shooting only five out of eight from the free throw line.
However, Cardinals allowed the Pirates to cut their once imposing lead to only six markers by scoring the first 10 points of the final canto, 52-58. Oraeme came to the rescue with a three-point play off Mike Harry Nzeusseu and CJ Isit canned a triple to restore their twin-digit lead with six minutes to go, 64-54.
The Pirates gave it one last pull as they patiently crept back to within six again nearing the one-minute mark, 64-70. However, that was the last to be heard from them as Oraeme, Isit and Darrell Shane Menina secured the victory from the free throw stripe.
“We took them lightly after we led by more than 10 points,” lamented Coach Atoy Co. “Winning our third game in a row is wow, we just have to work more on our shooting and our aggressiveness on defense especially when we play Arellano and San Beda later on.”
Oraeme already had a double-double by halftime and finished with 22 points, 25 rebounds and five blocks. Isit supported him with 16 points and five steals followed by Biteng with 15 points.
Nzeusseu led the Pirates with 16 points and 19 rebounds. Aya-ay chipped in 15 points and eight rebounds.
How They Scored:
MAPUA TECH (75) – Oraeme 22, Isit 16, Biteng 15, Estrella 6, Menina 6, Eriobu 4, Serrano 4, Victoria 2, Orquina 0, Magboo 0, Raflores 0.
LYCEUM (64) – Nzeusseu 16, Aya-ay 15, Serafica 11, Baltazar 7, Alban 6, Alanes 3, Caduyac 3, Bulawan 2, Malabanan 1, Soliman 0, Magbuhos 0, Rubite 0.
Period Scores: 20-22, 38-35, 58-42, 75-64,