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Mapua weather late Arellano surge to break even

Laurenz Victoria and Mapua forged a triple tie with AU and CSB after their in over the Chiefs. Rick Johnsen Dela Cruz/Dugout Philippines
By Kevin Estrada

SAN JUAN -- Mapua have to survive a late Arellano uprising and hit big shots en route to a wire-to-wire 91-83 triumph in the men's basketball tournament of NCAA Season 94 Tuesday afternoon at the FilOil-Flying V Centre.

Coach Atoy Co banked on solid contributions and timely baskets to stifle the Chiefs' late resistance to forge a triple tie with their victims and opening game winners St. Benilde at 2-2 card, as Arellano never tasted the lead for the entire game.

Five Cardinals were on double-digit scoring, with center Christian Buñag paced Mapua with a double-double of  16 points and 10 rebounds, to be followed by Eric Jabel's 15 and Cedric Pelayo's 13 off the bench.

Levi Dela Cruz almost ignited another late rally in the fourth, with 10 of his game-high 25 came in the payoff frame but the Chiefs ran out of steam in the end to drop down to an even record.

Mapua lead by as much as 18 in the third frame, 64-46 on a Denniel Aguirre bucket in the third period, but Arellano rallied in the final frame by coming from a dozen points dow to just five, 80-85 with 2:34 left in the game.

But the Cards had the last laugh, with key baskets by Warren Bonifacio and Cedric Pelayo put the game out of reach, which as capped of by Noah Lugo's layup with 27.5 ticks left in the game.

The Scores
Mapua 91 – Bunag 16, Jabel 15, Pelayo 13, Lugo 12, Bonifacio 12, Victoria 9, Biteng 6, Gamboa 6, Aguirre 2, Pajarillo 0

Arellano 83 – Dela Cruz 25, Alban 12, Dela Torre 10, Alcoriza 9, Segura 8, Concepcion 6, Ongolo Ongolo 4, Serajosef 3, Canete 2, Santos 2, Villoria 2, Codinera 0, Sacramento 0, Abdurassad 0, Bayla 0

Quarter scores: 31-22, 52-40, 69-57, 91-83

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