Mapua shocks Pepetual HelpBy Mark C. Giongco
MANILA, Philippines—Jonathan Banal hit big shots down the stretch as Mapua survived a frantic finish to stun Perpetual Help, 74-71, Monday night in the NCAA Season 88 men’s basketball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan city.
Banal finished with 21 points, including a wide-open trey that made it 71-66, 56.1 ticks left.
“Always naman ang naging problema namin, finishing the game. I told my boys we have a lot of experiences like this so we have to get this one. I’m very proud of them,” said Mapua head coach Chito Victolero, whose squad avenged an 88-94 overtime loss in the first round.
“I’m thankful that my teammates were able to give me the ball for me to make those shots,” said the graduating Banal.
The Altas had several chances to salvage a win but just couldn’t capitalize.
Earl Thompson had a chance to tie the game but misfired on a three as time expired after the Cardinals turned the ball over off a missed free throw by Gab Banal.
Jet Vidal failed to convert on a well-contested drive that would’ve tied the game at 73.
The Altas absorbed a crucial loss as they dropped into a tie with peaking Letran in third place and with a tough schedule ahead, they are in danger of perhaps falling out of the Final Four picture.
Vidal finished with 25 points but took 27 attempts, 17 of which from three.
Josan Nimes added 13 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Cardinals, who kept their flat-lining bid for a semifinals slot alive.