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Nimes has no regrets, sees bright future for Mapua basketball

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“We’re happy to make it this far. We’re still disappointed we couldn’t make it to the championship. We made it this far so why give up.”

Five years fly by so fast.

Five years ago, Filipino-Australian Josan Nimes made waves in the NCAA as he was crowned the Rookie of the Year during that season. After a string of injuries that hampered his collegiate career and growth, Nimes returned to the Mapua Cardinals, this season’s hosts, and helped lead the resurgence of the Mapuan basketball program.

After rampaging through the second round en route to a Final Four ticket, the Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals succumbed to the Letran Knights-pressure defense in an Intramuros shootout, 91-90, to finish third in the tournament.

The game was close all throughout as the Battle of Intramuros turned into a shootout. During the last minute of the game, and with Letran up by just three points, the Fil-Aussie was able to drive his way to the lane and dish out to a wide open Exe Biteng for a three-pointer. The shot was spat out of the rim. However, two free throw misses by Mark Cruz gave the hosts another shot. Great ball movement by the Cards resulted to Nimes finding CJ Isit for another triple. The result? Another sorry miss for Mapua. It was not just meant to be. The Mapuan senior finished the game with 15 points on 63% shooting from the field and 83% clip from the charity stripe. He added four boards and three dimes in his final game donning the red and gold.

After a gallant stand, Nimes has nothing but praise for his team and what they had accomplished. “No doubt (still a success),” he said. “For a host to perform like this, nobody really expected that from us. We made the whole Mapua community happy.”

With only four players graduating, the Intramuros-based squad will have a its core intact for next season. The continuity of the program will lead to brighter things for the school according to the senior. “They’re gonna be really good. We only have four guys graduating: me, Dretti [Stevens], [Mark] Brana, and [Raphael] Layug. But the core is still the same,” he remarked about the team’s future. “The core that stepped up, that contributed in the second round, they’ll still be back. They are going to be a strong team next year, if not better.”

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Nimes has no regrets, sees bright future for Mapua basketball

If there’s one regret Nimes has, it’s the hamstring injury he had to close the first round of the tournament. The injury recurred all throughout the season with the Mapuan missing a substantial amount of games due to it. “I started off good, it’s just disappointing that I had a couple of injuries bothering me.” Being on the sidelines though taught Nimes an valuable lesson: leadership. “Overall, I helped the team, especially off the court. The leadership, taking responsibility, the pressure off everybody else. I wish I could’ve been healthier, but I’m happy,” he reflected.

With his collegiate career over, Josan Nimes will take his journey to the PBA as he was drafted by the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. After a rigorous NCAA ride, the Elasto Painter is hoping to be afforded a short break before battling in the hard court of Asia’s premier league. “They have a game on opening day so I’m lucky,” he quipped. “But I think as soon as they’re gonna have practice, they’re going to expect me to go at it. I’ll see if I can get a little break to rest my body, but I think I’ve missed out on a lot already.”

The Cardinals have a bright future ahead of them since the core of the team is mostly composed of rookies and sophomores. With the guidance of veterans like Nimes this season, Mapua will be a force to be reckoned with come Season 92 while Nimes, with the leadership he learned from the institution, will bring this trait to a loaded Rain or Shine squad.

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