Arellano trips defending champ Letran; SSC slips past Mapua in NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball

Arellano trips defending champ Letran; SSC slips past Mapua in NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball

By Cip D.C. Cabrera

SAN JUAN CITY, Metro Manila — A gritty Arellano University (AU) squad slipped past defending champion Colegio de San Juan de Letran (CSJL), 72-69, in the 98th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Basketball Tournament at the FilOil EcoOil Center in San Juan City on Sunday.

Cade Flores led the way for the Chiefs with 18 points and nine rebounds while teammate Axel Doromal added 14 markers more, including a free throw that set the final count and snapped the Knights’ winning streak dating back from Game 3 of the 95th Season finals.

Wilmar Oftana and Joshua Abastillas chipped in 13 and 10, respectively.
“This is what I always tell my players, it feels so good to play if your opponent is the defending champion or the very strong teams because that’s where our plays shine. Just follow our system and we might win,” Arellano head coach Cholo Martin pointed out with his wards now sporting a 3-1 slate in four games, losing only to San Sebastian College Recoletos (SSC-R).

Shooting guard Romel Calahat led Letran with 17 points and 17 rebounds in 35 minutes of play.

Meanwhile, in the second game, the Golden Stags still smarting from a loss at the hands of the College of Saint Benilde (CSB) Blazers, withstood a shaky finish and survived by the skin of their teeth, 57-56, over the fighting Mapua University Cardinals.

Fighting with proverbial tooth-and-nail, the Cardinals absorbed its second consecutive defeat with their ranks dwindled due to injury even as its veteran wingman Paolo Hernandez play limited minutes and benched in the second half of the game.
The Cardinals actually had a chance to take the lead when they forced Calahat into a turnover and off a timeout but Toby Agustin drew a foul on the Stags’ leading scorer.

The Scores:

Arellano (72)

Flores 18, Doromal 14, Oftana 13, Abastillas 10, Menina 7, Talampas 4, Mantua 2, Mallari 2, Sunga 2, Tolentino 0, Oliva 0.

Letran (69)

Sangalang 19, Caralipio 16, Paraiso 8, Yu 8, Javillonar 8, Santos 3, Guarino 3, Ariar 2, Reyson 2, Olivario 0, Tolentino 0, Monje 0, Miclat 0, Lantaya 0.

Quarterscores: 12-11, 30-34, 47-56, 72-69

San Sebastian (57)

Calahat 17, Sumoda 7, Villapando 7, Una 6, Desoyo 5, Shanoda 5, Escobido 4, Felebrico 3, Concha 3, Altamirano 0, Cosari 0, Suico 0, Aguilar 0, Are 0.

Mapua (56)

Nocum 15, Gamboa 12, Agustin 9, Garcia 6, Soriano 5, Salenga 4, Pido 3, Bonifacio 2, Cuenco 0, Hernandez 0, Mercado 0, Parinas 0.

Quarterscores: 19-15, 30-32, 42-46, 57-56


The San Sebastian Golden Stags crushed the Mapua University Cardinals for a share of the lead in the NCAA Season 98. (Photo courtesy of Tiebreaker Times)

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