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Tiebreaker Times

Basketball

Mapua scorches Letran in Intramuros shootout


The Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals blasted Intramuros-neighbors the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights in a high-scoring affair, 104-94, to notch their first win in the 2016 Filoil Flying V Premier Cup Saturday afternoon in San Juan City.

CJ Isit led all scorers with 23 points on 10 for 13 shooting, grabbed six boards, and dished out seven dimes in the win. Allwell Oraeme notched another double-double for the Cardinals with 16 points and 18 boards while also successfully swatting away six Letran attempts.

The Cardinals shot the lights out in the game in shooting at a 55 percent clip from the field compared to the 44% shooting from the defending NCAA Seniors Basketball champions. Moreover, Mapua knocked down ten triples in the game with six coming from sophomore guard Exe Biteng.

“CJ now played very good. I was asking them if they are good,” Mapua head coach Atoy Co said about his team’s effort in the game. “If the players are playing good I will play you but if you are playing bad I will get you out. The conditioning will just come.”.

Biteng torched the Letran defense in the opening quarter in knocking down five threes in the opening frame of the game to help give Mapua a game-high 39-21 lead entering the second frame. Moreover, reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player Allwell Oraeme did his part on the inside with six points and seven boards in a high-scoring quarter.

In the second period, incoming senior Rey Nambatac kept Letran afloat while Jerrick Balanza complemented his captain’s effort to cut the lead to just 12 entering halftime, 57-45.

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“Both teams run in this game. We were able to contain their fastbreak in the second half but there were still lapses,” Co said about the 37 combined fastbreak points of the two teams.

With the Knights creeping in after a 12-6 rally in the opening moments of the final quarter, Mapua senior CJ Isit took charge for his team. Isit scored nine in the final quarter including a breakaway layup at the 4:24 mark to extend the Cardinals’ lead to 16, 99-83. Nambatac and Jom Sollano tried to rally Letran back but proved too late as  first year Letran head coach Jeff Napa suffered his first loss in the tournament.

“Admittedly we are a smaller team (compared to the other teams.) We have bigs but they are still rookies that’s why we use our guards,” Co said about playing a three-guard line-up for the majority of the game.

Nambatac stuffed the stat sheet with 20 points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals, and two blocks. Bong Quinto and Jom Sollano added 14 markers each with the former grabbing eight boards as well.

The Cardinals (B, 1-1) will next face the Adamson Soaring Falcons (B, 1-2) on Saturday, May 21 at 1:30pm. The Letran Knights (B, 1-1) look to bounce back as they face the UE Red Warriors (B, 1-1) on the same day at 3:00pm.

The Scores:

MIT (104) – Isit 23, Biteng 18, Oraeme 16, Serrano 13, Menina 11, Victoria 8, Gamboa 7, Orquina 5, Estrella 2, Magboo 1, Raflores 0, Aguirre 0.

CSJL (94) – Nambatac 20, Quinto 14, Sollano 14, Balanza 13, Calvo 12, Luib 10, Ambahot 5, Dela Pena 3, Balagasay 3, Apreku 0, Panbid 0, Sario 0.

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Quarterscores: 39-21, 57-45, 81-67, 104-94.

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