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Cardinals choke Pirates for second FilOil victory

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The Mapua Cardinals bounced back from a loss to the De La Salle Green Archers by putting up a defensive clinic for them to defeat Intramuros neighbors Lyceum Pirates with the score of 81-65, in Friday afternoon action of the FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup staged at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.

With the outcome of the match, Mapua separated themselves by a game from fellow NCAA team Lyceum, who now falls to 1-6. The Cardinals hold just a slightly better 2-5 slate in Group B.

Allwell Oraeme and Bien Dela Rosa came up big in the second half, combining for 24 of their team’s 45 inside the last two quarters. The duo finished with 21 and 20 points respectively. The Pirates, meanwhile, were led by Wilson Baltazar, Shaq Alanes, and Jebb Bulawan. The triumvirate did most of the work for the Pirates with 36 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists among them.

Only ahead by nine after the opening period, Mapua strolled to a huge 36-19 lead into the halftime break. To get there, the Cardinals limited the Pirates to a dismal 6/32 (19%) field goal shooting and only five points in the second quarter. Also, Mapua lorded the boards, claiming eight more than Lyceum but only scoring two points off second chance opportunities. The Cardinals also utilized their aggressiveness wisely, claiming more trips to the line while also scoring three points more.

Lyceum trimmed the deficit to 12 at the end of the third but a huge 17-4 rally by Mapua to start the last quarter all but assured the win for the Cardinals with only 4:32 left on the clock. In that stretch, Dela Rosa chalked in nine points to build a lead for Mapua that stood to as high as 25. Pirates’ forward Jebb Bulawan tried to lift his team back into the game but his efforts were a few moments too late.

Mapua coach Atoy Co expressed delight with the way his team played defense. “Overall, we played a very good defensive game. We have to play good defense and the offense will come,” he remarked. Apart from the solid defense, Co also acknowledged the team’s bright start as a factor that led them towards the result. Lastly, he wants his team to stay sharp throughout the matches they will play in order to grind out favorable results. “We are a young team. I need them to go all out every time we play, kasi what happened we played against La Salle, we were there in the first two quarters. Nagcollapse kami kasi nagcollapse ang depensa namin,” the PBA legend-turned-coach cited.

The Scores:

MIT(81) – Oraeme 21, Dela Rosa 20, Que 11, Nimes 8, Raflores 7, Layug 5, Isit 4, Nieles 2, Villasenor 2, Serrano 1, Biteng 0

LPU (65) – Baltazar 13, Alanes 12, Bulawan 11, Mbida 6, Lacastosantos 6, Caduyac 6, Ayaay 3, Nguidjol 2, Soliman 2, Sunga 2, Tampoc 2, Malabanan 0, Elmejrab 0, Magbuhos 0

TEAMS1ST2ND3RD4TH
MIT (B, 2-5)23365381
LPU (B, 1-6)14194165
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