Joshua Abastillas and Shane Menina came through in the clutch for Arellano University, defeating Mapua University, 64-59, in the NCAA Season 98 Seniors Basketball Tournament on Sunday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Down by five, 57-61 with 46 seconds remaining, Pao Hernandez drove to the basket but was denied by Abastillas.
Menina nailed the dagger in the following possession, knocking down a corner triple to get the 64-56 advantage with 28 seconds left to seal the game.
“Alam natin ano yan, second place last NCAA. So intact yung line-up. So kailangan talaga trumabaho [kami] sa depensa. Di pwedeng relax. Pag nag-relax ka don, patay nanaman kami,” said AU head coach Cholo Martin.
Arellano was up by 10 right before entering the final six minutes before Mapua sparked an 8-0 run capped by an Adrian Nocum reverse to be down by two, 54-56 with over three minutes to play.
Axel Doromal finished with a game-high 16 points, two rebounds, and an assist. Cade Flores had 14 markers on 5-of-10 shooting, and 11 boards; while Menina provided 13 points, seven rebounds, and two assists.
For Mapua, Hernandez led the team with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists. Arvin Gamboa added 11 markers and nine boards, while Warren Bonifacio and Adrian Nocum had 10 apiece.
The Chiefs improved to 4-3, while the Cardinals are still struggling, going down to 0-7.
Next up for Arellano is San Beda University (4-1) on Friday, 12 NN. Mapua on the other hand will try their luck against College of St. Benilde (5-1) on Wednesday, same time.
Arellano (64) — Doromal 16, Flores 14, Menina 13, Talampas 7, Oftana 6, Tolentino 4, Abastillas 2, Oliva 2, Mallari 0, Mantua 0, Domingo 0.
Mapua (59) — Hernandez 14, Gamboa 11, Nocum 10, Bonifacio 10, Pido 6, Agustin 4, Lacap 2, Parinas 2, Garcia 0, Soriano 0, Salenga 0.
Quarterscores: 13-8, 27-26, 46-38, 64-59.