Oraeme grabs 30 boards in Co-less Mapua's win over Letran

Ric Arlos
By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--Allwell Oraeme just set up a new NCAA rebounding record.

Mapua's rookie center grabbed 30 boards while scoring 18 points, three assists, and three blocks as the team bucked the absence of Coach Atoy Co and stunned Letran, 82-77, in the nightcap of the Tuesday doubleheader at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

Oraeme's carom tally nearly equaled that of the entire Letran squad, and his offensive rebound tally (11) can already suffice for a double-double.

However, the Cardinals still had to weather a late Knights run.

Up by double digits for most of the second half, Mapua saw its lead, which was as high as 17, going down to just four, 81-77, as Mark Cruz drained back-to-back triples and Kevin Racal added another with less than a minute remaining.

The Knights had a chance to inch closer as they forced a steal with their trademark pressure defense, but the Cardinals quickly recovered as Josan Nimes picked a lob pass intended for Racal to help preserve their fifth straight win and their second without Co, who served the front end of his two-game suspension.

Oraeme eclipsed the league record set by former San Sebastian Golden Stag Ian Sangalang on Aug. 22, 2011, when he collared 25 rebounds.

It was also the second time a player took 30 or more boards this year, the last coming from GlobalPort import Jarrid Famous, who grabbed 37 against Mahindra in a PBA game on June 14.

J.P. Nieles added a career-high 16 points of his own for Mapua, who won for the first time against Letran since Aug. 25, 2010 and is within a half game of Perpetual Help for the wildcard spot in the playoffs.

Cruz had 17 points, while Racal contributed 16 for Letran, but they were combined for a 10-of-36 clip from the field the entire game.

Box Scores:

Mapua 82-Oraeme 18, Nieles 16, Serrano 14, Menina 12, Que 6, Nimes 5, BraƱa 4, Aguirre 4, Biteng 3, Raflores 0

Letran 77-Cruz 17, Racal 16, Nambatac 15, Sollano 12, Apreku 6, Balanza 5, Quinto 4, Luib 2, Bernabe 0, Gedaria 0

Quarterscores: 16-25, 42-36, 62-49, 82-77