NCAA: Mapua dethrones Letran to bolster playoff bid | Inquirer Sports

NCAA: Mapua dethrones Letran to bolster playoff bid

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 06:06 PM September 13, 2016

Mapua's Allwell Oraeme. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Mapua’s Allwell Oraeme. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Mapua ousted defending champion Letran from Final Four contention, 77-72, in the NCAA Season 92 men’s basketball tournament Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

The Cardinals turned to Allwell Oraeme down the stretch and the reigning MVP delivered seven of his game-high 21 points inside the last seven minutes that went with 26 rebounds.

“It’s a good feeling. This win will most likely secure us [a spot] in the playoffs,” said Oraeme.

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Darell Menina also played a vital role in the endgame, firing eight of his 12 points, highlighted by a go-ahead 3-pointer, 70-67, with 2:14 remaining.

“Di pa ako nakatira sa second half so binigay ko na lang tira ko,” said the backup guard.

“Nag-step up lang talaga ako kasi si Biteng wala pa siya para may shooter kami.”

Rey Nambatac had 19 points and seven rebounds for the Knights (8-9), who will wrap up their season against Emilio Aguinaldo College on Sept. 22.

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Letran fell behind by 15 in the third quarter but went down fighting.

The Knights rallied and stayed within reach despite losing Nambatac at the 8:13 mark of the fourth quarter due to an ankle injury.

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Nambatac turned his left ankle after stepping on a referee’s heel while sprinting back on a fastbreak. He returned with 4:45 left but didn’t have the same explosiveness and aggressiveness.

Mapua can clinch a spot in the semifinals with a victory over winless College of St. Benilde on Thursday.

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TAGS: Allwell Oraeme, Letran, Mapua, NCAA

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