UP prevails over Mapua in Ward's FilOil debut

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--UP staved off a late rally by Mapua to win a 67-63 decision in the nightcap of Monday's FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup games at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

Leading by as eight in the second quarter, the Fighting Maroons were up by six, 60-54, with 3:15 left in the fourth frame.

Bien Dela Rosa, however, uncorked eight unanswered points in just one minute to put the Cardinals up, 62-60, with 1:58 remaining.

Gelo Vito then scored on a baseline jumper to tie the match, 62-all, with 100 seconds to go.

Allwell Oraeme, Mapua's rookie African beanpole, drove hard to the basket in the next play against UP's defense.

The 6-8 Nigerian missed the layup, and it led to Kyles Lao's go-ahead shot with 50.9 seconds left.

The returning Josan Nimes had a chance to tie the game again as he got fouled on the other end, but Nimes only made one of two free throws.

The Cardinals regained possession after Nimes' miss, but C.J. Isit missed a corner triple and Vito scored on the other end to stretch the Maroons' lead to three, 66-63, with 15.4 ticks on the clock.

Dela Rosa finally lost steam as he missed the potential game-tying three-pointer in the next play. Paul Desiderio sealed UP's win with a free throw with four seconds left.

Dave Moralde led the Fighting Maroons, playing for the first time in the FilOil tourney with Joe Ward as the reported head coach, with 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting along with two rebounds, two steals, and an assist.

Rookie Jerson Prado added nine markers and four boards.

Oraeme grabbed 29 rebounds while tallying 14 points, two assists, and two blocks.

On the other hand, Dela Rosa out of PCU, scored all of his 11 points in the fourth quarter.

In his comebacking game after being out for a year, Nimes tallied nine points and seven rebounds.

Box Scores:

UP 67-Moralde 19, Prado 9, Desiderio 8, Lao 8, Vito 6, Amar 3, Juruena 2, Dario 2, Gallarza 2, Asilum 2, Kone 2, Jaboneta 2, Longa 2, Lim 0, Harris 0, Tekoudjou 0, Romero 0

Mapua 63-Oraeme 14, Isit 13, Dela Rosa 11, Nimes 9, Que 6, Braña 4, Serrano 4, Nieles 2, Stevens 0, Layug 0, Villaseñor 0

Quarterscores: 13-10, 32-28, 48-45, 67-63