BADLY needing a bucket, Mapua’s Joseph Eriobu buried a running triple from near half court that appeared to beat the third-quarter buzzer.
After a review of the play, the referees didn’t count it.
That’s how unlucky the Cardinals were as they succumbed to a scary University of Perpetual Help, 91-57, on Monday in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
Juneric Baloria and Earl Thompson combined for 53 points to nearly outscore the Cardinals’ total output as the Altas jumpstarted their campaign and validated their status as a top threat to San Beda’s title reign.
It was an ominous sign for the Cardinals, who joined Letran and Jose Rizal University in the list of early losers and appear headed for another a trying season after losing key players Josan Nimes and Mark Braña in the offseason.
“Alam ko tatalunin namin Mapua, pero hindi ko in-expect na ganito ka-laki,” said Altas coach Aric del Rosario, whose team recorded the most lopsided victory since 2011 when the Red Lions walloped Emilio Aguinaldo College, 118-64, in an elimination round match.
The Altas’ offensive onslaught was a result of their suffocating defense, which forced the Cardinals to 24 turnovers translated to 26 points.
That enabled the Altas to establish leads as many as 37 points, the last at 85-48 after two charities from Flash Sadiwa.
UPHSD 91 – Thompson 27, Baloria 26, Jolangcob 8, Dizon 6, Arboleda 6, Sadiwa 5, Bantayan 4, Dagangon 4, Tamayo 3, Alano 2, Gallardo 0, Lucente 0, Pido 0.
MIT 57 – Eriobu 16, Estrella 14, Cantos 6, Biteng 5, Isit 5, Saitanan 4, Serrano 3, Gabo 2, Villasenor 2, Canaynay 0, Tubiano 0, Layug 0, Galoso 0, Medina 0.
Quartersccores: 20-10; 39-26; 65-35; 91-57.