It was one of those games wherein the offensive exchange between the two squads was showcased for the entire 40-minutes but one will always come up victorious. The Arellano University managed to come up with a 100-96 win over the Mapua Cardinals in a tightly-contested overtime matchup held at the Filoil Arena on Friday afternoon.
A good exchange to start the game was witnessed as a combined seven lead changes and deadlocks were made by the two schools. Nearly seven minutes in, the Cardinals held a slim 10-9 lead just before Arellano responded with three straight inside baskets to have a five point lead courtesy of Nico Bangga and Dioncee Holts. Fortunately for Mapua, they were able to tie the game after 10 minutes with a couple of stops in the last two minutes that led to quick points down their other end.
The Chiefs’ defensive intensity started to pick up as they contested majority of Mapua’s attempts from the perimeter forcing the Cardinals to turnovers. This enabled them to build a double-digit edge with 12-2 start to the quarter, half of the points came from triples by Zac Nicholls. However, the 11-point AU lead was quickly erased by transition baskets of Mapua — even the bigs ran the floor to retake the lead in the late stretch of the first half. Mapua also shot a good clip from the charity stripe as three free throws by Allwell Oraeme and Andretti Stevens helped them grab a slim lead at the end of two quarters.
In the second half, Mapua was able to regain a slim lead in the opening part of the third quarter as the Cardinals were able to limit the inside game of the Chiefs. No team led by more than six points in the last half of regulation as they continued to trade punches in both ends of the court. In the latter minutes of the third quarter, a furious exchange of baskets between Nicholls, Isit, Jalalon, and Oraeme gave the game an exciting-feel towards the payoff period.
In the fourth, momentum was still up for grabs as all mini-rallies put up were countered by the opposition. Fast foward to the four minute mark, two jumpers courtesy of Holts and Jalalon came up big and give them an 81-76 lead as the small lineup of Mapua failed to convert on their end. However, the Cardinals came up with crucial stops as Josan Nimes managed to tie the game at 81. Afterwards, Nicholls and Exequiel Biteng drilled in bigtime triples with seconds left to have a deadlock and extend the game to overtime.
In OT, three free throws sinked in by Arellano were able to dictate their lead against the Cardinals. AU was able to hang on to the advantage for the entire 5-minute extension despite stops from the guards by the Cardinals. With 1:25 left in the game, Jalalon found Salado for a big trifecta that extended the game to a three-possession lead at 96-89. Mapua faught back and sliced the lead to three, but a split by Jalalon sealed the deal in the exciting game to close out NCAA Friday’s triple header.
Arellano improves to a 3-1 record while Mapua slides to a 1-3 slate.
Mapua will face EAC while Arellano battles San Sebastian in their next games to be played 12nn and 4pm respectively on July 24, Friday still at San Juan Arena.
AU 100 – Jalalon 26, Holts 25, Nicholls 16, Salado 12, Bangga 5, Gunaru 5, Cadavis 4, Tano 3, Enriquez 2, Meca 2, Capara 0, Ongolo 0, Ortega 0, De Guzman 0, Zamora 0.
MIT 96 – Oraeme 18, Nimes 17, Isit 13, Biteng 12, Raflores 12, Nieles 9, Stevens 5, Serrano 4, Menina 4, Aguirre 2, Brana 0, Layug 0, Dela Rosa 0, Que 0, Villasenor 0
Quarterscores: 20-20, 36-38, 64-66, 84-84, 100-96