Just like in their game against the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Pirates, the Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT) Cardinals blitzed their opponents to a hot first half.
Contrary to that game, The Cardinals were able to sustain the effort all throughout in coasting through the College of Saint Benilde (CSB) Blazers 76-64 to win their fourth game in seven outings Friday evening at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
The Cardinals were without head coach Atoy Co and defensive ace Andretti Stevens in the game as both were serving a one-game suspension. The top two teams in offensive efficiency in the league, blasted their opponents right from the get-go. Josan Nimes and Allwell Oraeme feasted on the smaller Benilde frontline in getting easy inside baskets; both scored 11 points in the half. Moreover, Oraeme anchored the defense well in crashing the boards enroute to 10 first half rebounds. The Blazers could not find the basket as even pointblank shots. Excellent ball denial by the hosts also limited the outside shooting-heavy squad from Taft. After scoring just seven points in the quarter and down 22 points, the Blazers were in a 20-point hole entering halftime 47-27.
A scary moment occurred at the 6:47 mark of the second quarter. As the Cardinals were implementing their fullcourt press, Carlos Isit slipped and was clutching his right shoulder after the fall. According to a physical therapist of Mapua, it seems that Isit dislocated his shoulder. The floor general for Mapua was brought to a nearby medical facility soon after.
The Mapua firestorm continued all throughout the third quarter as Oraeme could not be stopped by the frontline of Ongteco, Saavedra, and Fajarito. In addition, the green-and-white squad was forced to 16 turnovers in the second half. To make matters worse, the Blazers could not buy any baskets until late in the fourth quarter. At the 8:32 of the third, Josan Nimes went out of the game clutching the back of his left leg. It was later assessed that it was just a sore left hamstring, but he did not return in the game. The Mapua lead went up to as high as 36 points before JJ Domingo and the rest of the bench scored in the last few minutes of the game. The Mapua Cardinals won the game 76-64.
Lead assistant coach Ed Cordero dedicated the game to Atoy Co. “We dedicate this game to Coach Atoy. He helped in the recruitment and development of this team. It may not be perfect but in two years, we made strides.”
Cordero also added that prior to the game, he told that if they wanted to go further, they needed dream high and work hard. Moreover, he said that he was happy that the team sustained the energy they had in their past three wins.
The Cardinals were led by Allwell Oraeme’s 19 points, 20 rebounds, and eight blocks. Cebuano rookie Darell Menina added 13 points. For the Blazers, Smart Elite ambassador Jonathan Grey scored 14 points on just eight attempts. FEU-Fern standout JJ Domingo also added 14 points.
The Cardinals (4-3) will next face the JRU (4-3) Heavy Bombers on Tuesday, August 11 at 2:00pm while the Blazers (2-6) will have the Golden Stags (2-6) as their next assignment on Thursday, August 13 at 4:00pm.
MIT (76) – Oraeme 19, Menina 13, Nimes 11, Aguirre 7, Isit 6, Raflores 6, Biteng 4, Que 3, Nieles 3, Villasenor 2, Brana 2, Serrano 0, Layug 0, Dela Rosa 0
CSB (64) – Domingo JJ 14, Grey 14, Nayve 12, Fajarito 10, San Juan 6, Ongteco 4, Jonson 2, Deles 2, Domingo JS 0, Sta. Maria 0, Castor 0, Saavedra 0, Flores 0, Young 0
Quarters: 29-7, 47-27, 67-38, 76-64.
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