MAPUA survived the fouling out of Allwell Oraeme and the ejection anew of head coach Atoy Co to beat Lyceum, 70-66, on Friday for its fourth straight victory in the NCAA Season 91 seniors basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
JP Nieles scored five of his 10 points in the final period as he picked up the slack left by Oraeme in the stretch and help the Cardinals improve their record to 8-5 overall.
Oraeme picked up his fifth and final foul with 6:10 left in the game, a development that led to the ejection of Co for continuous complaining.
Still, the undermanned Cardinals, already without star player Josan Nimes due to a hamstring injury, came away with the win as Nieles accounted for the team’s final five points after Lyceum came storming back.
“My boys didn’t give up. Maybe it inspired them more when I was thrown out,” said Co, who was ejected for the second time this season.
“Luckily, even without an import, they were able to survive Lyceum. I’m very proud of them,” he added.
The Pirates were quick to pounce on the fouling out of Oraeme and the ejection of Co as they cut a 55-65 deficit to 62-65 with 4:42 to go.
Nieles broke the team’s silence by completing a lay-up off a steal before hitting a huge triple to bring the lead to 70-64, with 2:45 left.
Justin Serrano led Mapua with 15 points, while Mark Brana added 10 markers.
The victory kept Mapua’s distance over Jose Rizal U (7-6) for fifth place.
Oraeme had eight points and 14 rebounds before heading to the showers.
Joseph Gabayni had 21 points for the Pirates, who fell to 3-11.
Mapua (70) - Serrano 15, Nieles 10, Brana 10, Oraeme 8, Menina 8, Isit 6, Que 6, Biteng 5, Aguirre 2, Layug 0, Raflores 0.
Lyceum (66) - Gabayni 21, Baltazar 14, Nguidjol 12, Ayaay 8, Marata 3, Bulawan 3, Malabanan 2, Soliman 2, Sunga 1, Mbida 0, Lugo 0.
Quarterscores: 25-12; 37-25; 58-45; 70-66.