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Stags continue giant-slaying ways, nip Cards for third straight win

By Ricky Manliguis

SAN JUAN, MM—First, it was Perpetual, then San Beda.

Now, add Mapua to the list of second-round victims of red-hot San Sebastian.

The Stags displayed their killer instinct for the third game in a row, this time pulling off a 69-67 squeaker over the Cardinals in Friday action of the NCAA Season 92 basketball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Surviving a sluggish first half, the Recto-based squad found the needed adjustments as it chalked up its fourth win in 13 outings, and the third against top-notch teams after earlier victories opposite the Altas and the Red Lions.

The Cardinals had a brilliant opening half, storming to a 25-8 opening quarter before closing the half with a 38-27 advantage.

Yet the Stags refused to back down, responding with a 23-8 third quarter for a 50-46 cushion heading into the pay-off period.

Mapua had its last taste of the lead on Darell Menina’s basket with 2:15 remaining, 64-59, before the Stags mounted a spirited 9-0 salvo, capped by an RK Ilagan triple and an Allyn Bulanadi drive to take the fight out of the Cardinals.

Ryan Costelo led the Stags with a game-high 20 points, including the insurance free throws with 16.7 ticks to go. He also dished out seven assists, two rebounds, and two steals in over 22 minutes of action.

Michael Calisaan and Ilagan added 15 and 12 markers, respectively.

Mapua, which fell to 7-5, was paced by Allwell Oraeme’s double-double of 16 points and 21 rebounds. Menina was the other double-digit scorer with 12.

Box Scores:

San Sebastian 69-Costelo 20, Calisaan 15, Ilagan 12, Bulanadi 8, Capobres 4, Gayosa 3, Mercado 3, Fabian 2, Calma 2, Baetiong 0, David 0, Johnson 0, Quipse 0, Sera Josef 0, Valdez 0

Mapua 67-Oraeme 16, Menina 12, Estrella 9, Victoria 9, Isit 6, Raflores 6, Bunag 4, Eriobu 4, Serrano 1, Biteng 0, Orquina 0

Quarterscores: 8-25, 27-38, 50-46, 69-67

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