The University of the East (UE) Red Warriors maintain a perfect slate in the FilOil Flying V Premiere Cup with a tantalizing 79-77 come from behind win over the Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT) Cardinals Wednesday afternoon, at the FilOil Flying V Arena, San Juan City.
The dreaded Pumaren press was in full display during the opening minutes of the game. Behind the hustle of Emil Palma, the Red Warriors put up a quick 11 points in the first four minutes of the game while limiting the Cardinal offense to just four points. Josan Nimes tried to rally the Cardinals during the opening quarter, but constant turnovers by his team led to points for the Sampaloc-based squad. Back-up point guard Philip Manalang closed the quarter with a spurt of his own to give the Red Warriors an 18-8 lead.
The clock was ticking with five minutes left in the second quarter and with UE up by just three points, 25-22, the Cardinals made the adjustments needed to stifle to UE offense. Mapua big man, Allwell Oraeme, even with 6’8” Bertrand Awana defending him, was unstoppable as he scored 10 points in the last five minutes of the quarter. Around that time saw the Cardinal defense hold the Red Warrior offense to just eight points to take over the lead 37-30. However, a timely three by Dan Alberto with just seven seconds remaining cut the MIT lead to just 33-37 entering the halfway mark of the game.
Allwell Oraeme continued his dominance in the paint with a 6-0 run on his own to open the third quarter and give MIT a 43-35 lead. Emil Palma kept the game close with hard drives that led to conversions. The defense of UE though could not contain the hot hands of Josan Nimes as he converted on tough shots to score eight points in the quarter. In addition, almost all the Red Warriors, except for Palma, could not convert on wide-open shots. MIT led by seven 56-49 before entering the final regulation quarter of the game.
The Cardinals lead went as high as 13 points, 71-58, behind the offense of spitfire guard, Stephen Que and Nimes, along with the collective effort of the team on defense. Five minutes to go, and the Red Warriors went on a blitzing 11-0 rally to cut the MIT lead to just two points with 1:44 remaining in the game. With only two minutes left, Mapua’s starting two-guard, JP Nieles, and big man Oraeme, who collected 24 points and 17 rebounds in the game, fouled out leaving a huge hole in the Mapua defense. This is where, third-year guard, Edgar Charcos willed his team as he scored six straight points to tie the game at 75-all with 55.6 seconds remaining. RR de Leon, who freely roamed the point with Oraeme out of the game, tipped a missed shot to give UE a 77-75 lead with 31.9 ticks remaining. However, Stephen Que answered back with a high-looping lay-up to tie the game at 77-all with 17.4 remaining. After a timeout by UE coach Derick Pumaren, Charcos drove hard to the hoop to get a foul on big man Justin Serrano. Charcos was able to convert on both free throws to regain the lead with 2.6 seconds remaining. Amidst no timeouts remaining, Que was able to put up a shot that was could have tied the game but was waved off as the shot came after the horns sounded.
Emil Palma paced the Red Warriors with 18 points, five assists, and four steals. Edgar Charcos, who scored eight points in the final minutes of the game, tallied 15 points and seven rebounds. On the other side, Allwell Oraeme led MIT with 24 points and 17 rebounds before fouling out of the game.
As a team the UE Red Warriors were outrebounded by the Cardinals by a huge margin 40-51. Moreover, the Cardinals made 11 more free throws compared to the victors.
The UE Red Warriors next play the CEU Scorpions in a battle of the unbeatens on Wednesday, May 13 at 3:15pm while the MIT Cardinals face the CEU Scorpoions on Saturday, May 9 at 5:00pm.
UE 79 – Palma 19, Charcos 15, De Leon 9, Gonzales 9, Alberto 8, Abanto 4, Javier 4, Varilla 3, Manalang 3, Cudal 2, Larupay 2, Battiler 1.
MIT 77 – Nimes 26, Oraeme 24, Que 15, Biteng 6, Brana 2, Villasenor 2, Raflores 2.
|UE (B, 3-0)||18||33||49||79|
|MIT (B, 0-3)||8||37||56||77|