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Cards stay perfect, drub Pirates

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By Ricky Manliguis

SAN JUAN, MM–Make it three for three so far for Mapua.

The Cardinals banked on a solid third quarter, then buckled up on defense in the endgame to turn back the Lyceum Pirates, 75-64, for its third straight win in the resumption of men’s basketball action of NCAA Season 92 at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Tuesday.

The Muralla-based squad fired a telling 20-5 salvo for a comfortable 58-42 cushion going into the final quarter behind Allwell Oraeme, CJ Isit, and Exequiel Biteng.

The Pirates, however, sprung back to life in the final canto, even coming to within 64-72 with 1:19 left.

But it was all they can muster as the Cardinal defense denied them another shot at the basket.

Oraeme, Isit, and Darell Menina added five more points from the charity stripe to settle the outcome.

Last season’s Rookie-MVP Cameroonian Oraeme recorded another monster performance with 22 points, a game-high 25 rebounds, and five blocks.

Isit added 16, while Biteng had 15, including 10 in the pivotal third period.

The win gave the boys of coach Atoy Co the top spot, half a game ahead of idle Arellano Chiefs and San Beda Red Lions, who are playing the Emilio Aguinaldo Generals as of press time.

LPU, which dropped its third consecutive game, were paced by Nigerian Harry Nzeusseu with 16 points and 19 boards.

MJ Ayaay finished with 15 points and Aldrin Serafico had 11, all in the first half.

Box Scores:

Mapua 75-Oraeme 22, Isit 16, Biteng 15, Estrella 6, Menina 6, Serrano 4, Eriobu 4, Victoria 2, Orquina 0, Magboo 0, Raflores 0

Lyceum 64-Nzeusseu 16, Ayaay 15, Serafico 11, Baltazar 7, Alban 6, Caduyac 3, Alanes 3, Bulawan 2, Malabanan 1, Soliman 0, Magbuhos 0, Rubite 0

Quarterscores: 20-22, 38-35, 58-42, 75-64

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