MAPUA defeated Emilio Aguinaldo College, 88-63, on Friday to assure the Cardinals of a playoff for a Final Four berth in the NCAA Season 91 men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
Allwell Oraeme finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and four blocks for the Cardinals, who finished the regular season with a 12-6 win-loss slate.
That is good enough to assure the Cardinals a place in the stepladder playoffs to determine the Final Four protagonists.
Mapua led by only three points at the half, 41-38, but stepped on the gas from there to put a fitting end to a second-round campaign that saw the Cardinals win eight of nine games.
Mapua coach Atoy Co said the possible humiliation of coming this far and then falling at the last hurdle in a game against Emilio Aguinaldo College proved enough motivation for his wards.
“Lahat ng pinagpaguran namin tapos madidisgrasya sa EAC, anong mukha ang ihaharap namin sa eskwela?” said Co.
The Generals finished the 18-game eliminations with just two victories.
Darell Menina and Mark Brana had 14 points each while Josan Nimes chipped in 13 points. JP Nieles had 12 points while CJ Isit added 11 markers for the Cardinals.
Sidney Onwubere had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Generals.
Mapua (88) — Oraeme 16, Menina 14, Brana 14, Nimes 13, Nieles 12, Isit 11, Biteng 3, Serrano 3, Aguirre 2, Raflores 0.
EAC (63) — Onwubere 21, Hamadou 11, Munsayac 8, Diego 8, Mejos 5, Bonleon 2, Pascual 0, Corilla 0, Mallari 0.
Quarterscores: 15-14, 41-38, 61-50, 88-63.