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Menina, Nimes comes up big late to keep Mapua’s playoff hope alive

Ric Arlos

by Jason Espiritu

The Mapua Cardinals are still fighting and scratching to stay alive in the hunt for a playoff spot. Their win today against the College of St. Benilde Blazers pushed their winning total to 11 in 17 outings. The win created a three-team logjam (MIT, JRU, UPHSD) with an 11-6 win-loss margin.

Shane Menina and team captain Josan Nimes blasted the Blazers for a combined 14 points in a crucial 19-6 run, bridging the third quarter and early fourth. The Blazers played well enough for two and a half quarters to take a 42-42 lead midway thru the third. Then the scoring duo did their run and proved to be a crucial one to gain the victory. Mapua had a fast start scoring 18 of the first 22 points of the game to lead by 14 in the first quarter, but the inspired Blazers fought back and kept it close for the entirety of the game. Game ended at 77-72 for the Cardinals.

Shane Menina finished with 17 points with 3 booming triples, 10 coming from the 4th quarter. Leading MVP candidate Allwell Oraeme came up again with another monster MVP performance netting 15 points and grabbing 23 rebounds. Exe Biteng who played brilliantly before being benched while CSB’s making a comeback contributed 12 points. 

Seven Blazers played their final collegiate games today including star Jonathan Grey, who had a forgettable final collegiate game scoring only 4 points. Other graduating seniors Pons Saavedra finished with 19 points, JR Ongteco contributed 14. 

Mapua will face EAC Generals in their final elimination game. A win will give them a sure playoff for a Final four spot.

Box Scores:

Mapua 77 – Menina 17, Oraeme 15, Biteng 12, Serrano 9, Nimes 9, Isit 8, Nieles 5, Brana 2, Que 0, Aguirre 0, Raflores 0

CSB 72 – Saavedra 19, Ongteco 14, Domingo JJ 10, Fajarito 7, Young 6, Jonson 5, Grey 5, Domingo JS 3, Sta. Maria 2, San Juan 2, Nayve 0, Deles 0, Flores 0, Castor 0.

Quarterscores: 18-11, 33-28, 54-48, 77-72 

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