Mapua stays in Final Four hunt with rout of EAC

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM—On Tuesday, EAC tried to mess up the NCAA Final Four race but just fell short of stunning Arellano despite fighting back from a huge deficit.

Three days after, the Generals kept close on the Mapua Cardinals early on.

EAC got clobbered in the end.

The Cardinals stifled the Generals in the final 20 minutes to hack out an 88-63 win at the FilOil Flying V Arena on Friday.

Mapua, which actually trailed at some points in the first half, outscored EAC, 47-25, in the second half to join JRU, which won earlier Friday, and idle Arellano in a three-way tie for third at 12-6.

The win also made a five-way logjam for second more possible. Perpetual Help, at 11-6, can force the said scenario if it beats 12-5 Letran in a match ongoing as of posting.

Allwell Oraeme led six Cardinals in double figures with 16 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, four blocks, and three steals.

Darell Menina nearly had a double-double of his own as he contributed 14 markers and nine dimes along with two caroms and three steals.

Sidney Onwubere tallied 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting and three triples along with 11 boards, four dishes, and one swipe for the Generals, who ended their season with 11 straight defeats and had their worst end-of-season record since joining the league in 2009.

Box Scores:

Mapua 88-Oraeme 16, Menina 14, BraƱa 14, Nimes 13, Nieles 12, Isit 11, Serrano 3, Biteng 3, Aguirre 2, Raflores 0

EAC 63-Onwubere 21, Laminou 11, Munsayac 8, Diego 8, General 8, Mejos 5, Bonleon 2, Pascual 0, Mallari 0

Quarterscores: 15-14, 41-38, 61-50, 88-63