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Returning Nimes drops 18 as Mapua downs San Sebastian

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After missing three crucial games and his team going down 1-2 during that stretch, Josan Nimes returned and led the Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals with 18 points and six assists in an 87-78 win over the San Sebastian College of Recoletos Golden Stags Thursday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Arena.

The first quarter of this game was a high-scoring affair as the two teams went on a blistering pace. After an all-around team effort by the Stags to give them a 10-2 lead, Justin Serrano and Exeqiel Biteng sparked a rally that brought the Stags closer. However, the Stags were kept at bay due to fouls that brought their opponents to the charity stripe. In addition, back-to-back three pointers by Ryan Costelo and Jamil Ortouste gave them a 21-14 lead. At the 3:51 mark of the first quarter, Josan Nimes entered the game and eventually changed the pace. Nimes scored four quick points that helped cut the Stags lead to just four to end the quarter 27-23.

The two squads continued to trade shots in the second stanza. Ortuoste shot the lights out in scoring ten points in the quarter, including two three pointers. Moreover, the Recto-based squad were more aggressive in getting to the foul line. To make-up for their defensive lapses in the quarter, Nimes spaced the floor well for his teammates that helped find the open man for jumpers. The Cardinals eventually took the lead with free throws by Stephen Que and Oraeme at 45-43.

The second half was a different story as the Cardinals blitzed their opponents with an 8-0 blast. Biteng gained the hot hand in making it rain from downtown. Later in the third quarter, the twin tower of Bradwyn Guinto and Michael Calisaan could not muster any rebound against the frontline of Mark Brana and Allwell Oraeme. The lead went to as high at 14 at the early goings of the fourth quarter. Even in trying to spark a late rally behind Ortuoste and Calisaan, the Cardinals displayed great poise late in the fourth. A late basket by Nimes closed the game with Mapua gaining a two-game win streak with an 87-78 win.

Josan Nimes said after the game that he really wanted to return and suit up for Mapua. “I wasn’t nervous before the game. We are playing JRU next so this is a good momentum [game] for us as a team,” he said. Moreover, Mark Brana added that this win is a testament to the trust coach Atoy Co gives them. “Sana maka-final four kami para regalo namin kay coach na nagtiwala talaga sa amin.”

Besides Nimes, four other Cardinals scored in double-figures with Allwell Oraeme again grabbing a double-double with ten points and 18 rebounds. Brana also had a double-double with ten points and ten rebounds. On the other hand, Jamil Ortuoste scored a game-high 23 points on 8/17 shooting. Smart Elite ambassador Bradwyn Guinto struggled though in a seven point, seven rebound outing.

The Cardinals (6-5) will look to extend their streak to three wins as they face the JRU Heavy Bombers on Tuesday, September 8 at 2:00pm while the Stags (3-9) will look to break their two-game losing streak against the Arellano Chiefs on Friday, September 11 at 4:00pm.

The Scores:
MIT (87) – Nimes 18, Oraeme 11, Braña 10, Menina 10, Nieles 10, Biteng 9, Que 7, Aguirre 6, Serrano 4, Raflores 0, Dela Rosa 0.
SSC-R (78) – Ortuoste 23, Costelo 15, Calisaan 13, David 10, Fabian 8, Guinto 7, Santos 2, Bulanadi 0, Pretta 0, Sibal 0, Vera 0.
Quarterscores: 23-27, 45-43, 67-57, 87-78

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