Mapua steals fourth place from Lyceum with a win | Inquirer Sports

Mapua steals fourth place from Lyceum with a win

/ 07:49 PM September 02, 2011

Photo by Jan Dizon, NCAA.org.ph

MANILA, Philippines–Riding a cresting wave of momentum, Mapua leapfrogged over Lyceum, 80-59, to snatch the fourth spot in the standings Friday in the 87th NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

The Cardinals, padding on a hot streak to four games, jumped out strong and kept the Pirates at bay for most of the contest paced by another breakout performances from forward Josan Nimes and Fil-Palestinian Yousef Taha.

Nimes, born in the Philippines to Filipino parents but raised in Australia and the U.S., exploded for 12 points in the first quarter to finish with 20 points while Taha continued the assault in the second half by chipping in 13 of his 16 total markers.

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Mapua, which improved to 6-6, powered to an early 36-16 advantage just a few minutes before halftime then posted a couple of 21-point leads in the fourth quarter where it simply overpowered a baffled Lyceum, 13-5.

“We prepared very hard for this game. We executed very well in both ends of the floor,” said Mapua head coach Chito Victolero, who was also delighted by Nimes’ consistent showing as of late.

“I just told him to be confident every time and just play his game,” added Victolero.

The Pirates, who played sans three vital cogs in Floricel Guevarra, June Napisa and Gian Mallari, recovered momentarily early in the third quarter where it slashed the deficit down to  seven points.

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But Taha and Nimes teamed up in a 10-4 burst which brought the advantage back to 13 points for Mapua and never allowed Lyceum to race back anew.

Slasher Andretti Stevens also joined the scoring mix with a perfect stint from beyond the arch for 13 points, five in the third quarter run by the Cardinals, with zero turnovers in just 14 minutes of action.

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Jhygruz Laude pulled off 17 points and six rebounds in a losing cause, as he and marskman Chris Cayabyab helped move the Pirates closer to 44-37 with just two minutes gone by in the second half.

But the usual hotshooting combo lost their stride in the fourth quarter as Cayabyab, who finished below his average of eight points, just nailed a two-point basket in the fourth quarter while Laude went scoreless.

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Lyceum dropped to fifth place, behind Mapua, with a 5-6 record.

TAGS: Andretti Stevens, Basketball, Chris Cayabyab, Floricel Guevarra, Josan Nimes, Lyceum Pirates, Mapua Cardinals, NCAA, Sports, Yousef Taha

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