MAPUA notched its first winning streak in the NCAA Season 93, outlasting Perpetual Help, 76-71, in a battle of also-ran squads on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
Trailing by two with under a minute to go, the Cardinals went to a familiar face in Andoy Estrella and the veteran guard delivered.
The 5'11 guard tied the knot at 71 with a floater off a spin in the 54 second mark before draining a three pointer with 20.6 seconds left to give the Cardinals the lead for good.
The Altas had a chance to tie the game but GJ Ylagan's three pointer rattled out resulting to the dagger for the Cardinals when Leo Gabo converted on a leak out with 10.6 seconds to go.
With the win, the Cardinals improved to 3-12 as the Altas dropped their fifth game in six outings in the second round to fall to 4-11.
The victory however came at a cost as the already injury-plagued Cardinals lost rising guard JP Nieles to what looked like a left knee injury in the 5:16 mark of the fourth period.
Nieles, who missed every game last season due to a torn right ACL, had to be stretchered off.
"Yung huling huddle namin, sabi lang namin na para kay JP ang game na ito. Binigay niya lahat, tapos ganun ang nangyari," said Estrella after the match.
"Grabe ang kumpyansa na binibigay sa amin ni coach Atoy kaya ganyan ang kinalabasan ng laro namin," he added.
Estrella topscored for the Cardinals with 22 points while adding four rebounds and four assists to his name.
Bunag added 19 points and 14 rebounds while Laurenz Victoria 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Ylagan led the Altas with 22 points as Keith Pido added 18 points.
Mapua 76 - Estrella 22, Buñag 19, Victoria 14, Aguirre 9, Gabo 6, Raflores 6, Jimenez 0, Nieles 0, Orquina 0, Pelayo 0.
Perpetual 71 - Ylagan 22, Pido 18, Eze 15, Sadiwa 5, Yuhico 5, Lucente 4, Dagangon 2, Clemente 0, Coronel 0, Mangalino 0, Tamayo 0.
Quarterscores: 22-17; 38-42; 55-55; 76-71.