Mapua ousts Arellano, completes semis cast

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY—The Final Four is now known!

Mapua booked the last NCAA semifinal berth with a 93-75 against Arellano in the wildcard playoff at the Mall of Asia Arena on Tuesday.

The Cardinals opened a 40-10 run spanning the second and third quarters to turn a 22-27 deficit to a 62-37 cushion. They maintained the huge lead for the latter part of the third.

Jio Jalalon led the Chiefs' last stand, a 14-0 run that drew them to within ten, 59-69, with 8:57 left in the fourth period.

But Mapua hung on and even brought its advantage to 20 before settling for the 18-point gap at fulltime.

Josan Nimes led the Cardinals, who will face the JRU Heavy Bombers on Friday in another playoff for the third seed, with 21 points, one rebound, four assists, and two steals.

Allwell Oraeme, who is now a cinch for the MVP plum, resorted on his defense to buck a slow start as he grabbed 28 rebounds and three blocks along with his 13 points and six assists.

Jalalon ended his season with a career-high 37 markers with seven boards, five dimes, and five steals.

Box Scores:

Mapua 93-Nimes 21, Isit 14, Menina 14, Oraeme 13, BraƱa 10, Serrano 10, Aguirre 6, Nieles 5, Que 0

Arellano 75-Jalalon 37, Salado 9, Cadavis 7, Nicholls 6, Meca 4, Tano 4, Bangga 4, Holts 2, Enriquez 2, Ortega 0, Zamor 0, Ongolo 0

Quarterscores: 16-15, 49-33, 69-51, 93-75