Mapua holds off Lyceum for fourth straight win; Co ejected anew
Despite losing its coach and starting big man, Mapua held ground and stopped Lyceum, 70-66, for its fourth straight win in the NCAA season 91 men’s basketball tournament Friday at San Juan Arena.
Cardinal big man Allwell Oraeme got his final foul after Pirate big man Victor Nguidjol attacked him with 6:10 remaining in the game and Mapua in the lead, 65-55.
Oraeme’s exit prompted Cardinals head coach Atoy Co to throw a fit leading to his ejection.
Lyceum welcomed the absence of Oraeme and went on an 11-5 run, cutting the Cardinal lead to four as Nguidjol made two freebies with 2:32 remaining.
But that was the last the Pirates would score as Mapua made sure to keep them at bay and hold them scorelesss until the final buzzer.
Co, who was also got irked with the officiating and got ejected the last time these two teams met on July 31, was relieved his team held its own despite his and Oraeme’s exit.
“What can I say? My boys did not give up and maybe that inspired them more when the referees threw me out,” Co said as his team notched an 8-5 record.
Justin Serrano paced Mapua with 15 points while Mark Braña and JP Nieles each had 10 points.
Joseph Gabayni had 21 points in his return to lead the Pirates but it was all for naught as Lyceum dropped to 3-11.NCAA season 91 men’s basketball standings | Create infographics