Cardinals get back at Pirates
Ighalo powers Mapua to 7th winBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Coming out strong in a game that had no bearing in the title race, Mapua repulsed Lyceum, 76-58, last night in the 88th NCAA basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Already out of Final Four contention, the Cardinals refused to ease up, feasting on a listless Lyceum squad in the first period before cruising to their seventh victory in 17 games.
The Cardinals played with ferocity on the defensive end and relied on Kenneth Ighalo’s terrific shooting in the second quarter to pull away from the shorthanded Pirates, who ended the season with an atrocious 3-15 record.
The win avenged the Cardinals’ 74-78 defeat to the Pirates in the first round and allowed Mapua to match its win total last season with a game to spare. The Cardinals have the St. Benilde Blazers as their final opponent.
Mike Parala poured 17 points while Ighalo and Josan Nimes combined for 23 to fuel the Cardinals’ assault in the middle quarters.
Boosted by Ighalo’s three triples, the Cardinals turned a two-point cushion into a commanding 24-point lead at halftime. Mapua was hardly troubled from there as Jesse Brana and Andretti Stevens sustained the charge in the third period.
The loss ended a miserable season for the Pirates, who finished the tournament with only 10 players after the school dropped Chris Cay-abyab, Rich Guevarra, Vence Laude and Mark Francisco from the lineup in the second round of the eliminations due to academic deficiencies.
Lyceum still looked promising in the middle of the first round before faltering with eight straight losses.
The highlight of the Pirates’ season was their 69-62 second-round upset of the Jose Rizal U Bombers, whose Final Four chances were left hanging in the balance.
MAPUA 76—Parala 17, Ighalo 12, Nimes 11, Stevens 8, G. Banal 6, Brana 6, Saitanan 6, Abad 4, Cantos 3, Magsigay 3, 3, J. Banal 0, Eriobu 0, Layug 0, Estrella 0.
LYCEUM 58—Ko 21, Zamora 9, Mallari 9, Alanes 5, Martinez 3, Ambohot 3, Garcia 2, Azores 2, Edding 2, Pascual 2.
Quarters: 15-13, 38-20, 59-35, 76-58