NCAA: Mapua, Letran repulse respective foes
MANILA, Philippines—Mapua drew big games from Allan Mangahas and Josan Nimes to outlast College of St. Benilde in overtime, 94-90, in the second round of the 87th NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Allan Mangahas slithered his way to 23 points while Fil-American recruit Josan Nimes had a career-best 25 points to put the underachieving Cardinals back in striking distance of a Final Four spot.
Mangahas, who also grabbed seven rebounds, atoned for his crucial error in the waning seconds of regulation by accounting all but three of Mapua’s points in overtime.
Mapua, which is now tied with CSB in fifth place with a 4-6 card, blew a four-point lead, 81-77, as St. Benilde racked up four unanswered capped by a Carlo Lastimosa lay-up that forged extra session.
CSB scored the first points in OT but was held scoreless for almost three minutes as the Cardinals went on an 8-0 blast for their biggest lead of the game at 91-83.
Nimes brought Mapua, which trailed 37-44 in the first half, back to life as he fired 23 points in the second half alone.
Earlier, Letran bullied its way to a 73-59 victory over Arellano University to even strenghten its hold of the third spot.
Stocky forward Jam Cortes banged in 16 points and pulled nine rebounds and backed up main man Kevin Alas, who finished with 17 points and seven boards.
The Knights, who notched their eighth win, terrorized in the paint with Cortes leaping for every offensive rebound which he handily converted into buckets.
Cortes and Alas ganged up on the Chiefs, who slid to 3-7 in the standings, on pushing the lead up to 20 points with still two minutes to play.
Jerald Lapuz, who signed up for the PBA draft this Sunday, singlehandedly tried to match Letran’s strength with 16 points and 14 rebounds for Arellano.
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