MANILA, Philippines—Arellano escaped a rugged Mapua side, 64-59, in the NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball tournament at San Juan Arena on Sunday.
The Chiefs overcame the absence of Cade Flores, who fouled out in the dying minutes of the game.
“Almost all teams [in the NCAA] are physical so my team needed to wake up in the fourth. I’m glad they did,” Arellano head coach Cholo Martin said.
“We all know Cade is a big part of the team, but I’m glad the others stepped up,” he added.
Flores, who finished with 14 points and 11 reb0unds, was called for his final foul with still 2:06 remaining and with Arellano protecting a 59-54 lead.
The Cardinals pulled within three, 59-56, after a basket by Paolo Hernandez with 1:18 remaining.
Axel Doromal and Shane Menina produced crucial points for the Chiefs with Menina hitting the dagger triple against his former team, 64-56, with 28.7 ticks to go as their team improved to 4-3. The two combined for 29 points.
Hernandez notched a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards while Arvin Gamboa scored 11 for Mapua, which remained winless after seven games. Warren Bonifacio and Adrian Nocum added 10 each for the Cardinals.