Mapua escapes Perpetual Help, Arellano turns back EACBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines—Towering forward Mark Sarangay salvaged Mapua with his tenacity on the boards and propelled the Cardinals to a 65-62 victory over cellar-dwelling Perpetual Help Monday in the 87th NCAA seniors basketball competition.
Sarangay wiped the glass clean in the offensive end, then iced the game by going perfect from the stripe with 10.7 ticks remaining, which gave the Cardinals, who have not lost in the second round, a three-point breathing room.
The Cardinals then thwarted both of the Altas’ last two attempts as Jason Pascual blocked Chrisper Elopre’s game-tying triple at the buzzer.
“We’ve been in this [close game] situation] countless of times, and I always believe we will survive,” said Mapua coach Chito Victolero, whose squad (5-6) trimmed the lead of fourth-running Lyceum (5-5) by half a game.
Josan Nimes and Yousef Taha, two best scorers of the Cards, also connected on a pick-and-roll which led to a go-ahead under-goal stab by the Fil-Palestinian with 2:12 to go.
Nimes, born and raised in Australia, banged in 21 points while Taha added 12 points and seven boards for Mapua.
Willy main man Allan Mangahas, who scored 12 points, though, committed two crucial turnovers in the last two-and-half minutes which nearly cost the Cardinals the game.
Justine Alano, who chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds for Perpetual Help, nailed a hook shot over Taha with 2:12 but the Atlas, whose hopes of making it to the final four are slowly fading, faltered on all the ensuing attempts.
Arellano also boosted its record and stayed within striking distance of Mapua in the standings by repulsing Emilio Aguinaldo College, 78-70, in the first game.
Andrian Celada topscored with 23 points even as he plucked eight rebounds while Mark Doligon, Vergel Zulueta and Rocky Acidre also pitched in double-digit contributions for the Chiefs.
Even with a strong third quarter, the Generals could not keep us as the Chiefs pulled away in the payoff period behind a nine-point explosion by Celada.
Remy Morada stepped up in the absence of Joshua Torralba with 28 big points—17 of which came from the third quarter, where EAC outscored Arellano, 29-15.