MANILA — Arellano University survived Mapua’s late uprising en route to hacking out a 64-59 win in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament Sunday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.
Shane Menina turned out the biggest hero for Arellano as he drilled in a step back triple that gave the Chiefs a 64-56 cushion in the final 28.7 seconds after Cardinals pulled to within two points from 11 points down.
With the win, Arellano improved to 4-3, even as Mapua, whose season-opening win to San Beda was recently forfeited for fielding in an ineligible player, fell to 0-7.
Cade Flores starred in the Chiefs’ third quarter breakaway, erecting a 46-36 advantage.
The Cardinals trailed 38-49 early in the fourth but they fought back and closed in at 54-56 on Rence Nocum’s back-to-back baskets with 3:13 remaining.
Arellano held a 59-54 on a Wilmar Oftana banked triple when Paolo Hernandez countered for Mapua to trim the gap at 56-59.
Prior to Menina’s heroics, Axel Doromal nailed two free throws for a 61-56 Chiefs lead with 55 seconds left.
Doromal finished with 16 points, Flores produced a double-double outing of 14 points and 11 rebounds to go with five assists, two steals and two blocks, while Menina chipped in 13 points, seven boards and two assists for Arellano.
Paolo Hernandez had 14 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, Arvin Gamboa chipped in 11 points and nine boards while Nocum and Warren Bonifacio each had 10 points for the Cardinals.
The scores: First Game Arellano (64) -- Doromal 16, Flores 14, Menina 13, Talampas 7, Oftana 6, Tolentino 4, Abastillas 2, Oliva 2, Mallari 0, Mantua 0, Domingo 0. Mapua (59) -- Hernandez 14, Gamboa 11, Nocum 10, Bonifacio 10, Pido 6, Agustin 4, Lacap 2, Parinas 2, Garcia 0, Soriano 0, Salenga 0. Quarterscores: 13-8, 27-26, 46-38, 64-59