Cardinals upset Knights

8 08 2007

MAPUA spoiled Letran’s immediate entry into the Final Four after hacking-out an 89-82 win last August 8 in the 83rd NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

Behind their stifling defense in the payoff quarter, the Cardinals banished the Knights’ cloak of invincibility after keeping Letran without a field goal in the last five minutes en route to Mapua’s only third win in six games.

“Our defense helped us a lot,” said Leo Isaac, who replaced last year’s Mapua head coach Horacio Lim. “We need to be more aggressive if we want to make it in the Final Four.”

The 6-foot-2 guard Kelvin Dela Peña, who missed his second triple-double after tallying 17 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists, drilled in 11 points in the third quarter including a fast break lay up that gave the Cardinals a 71-63 lead with 3:15 minutes left.

The Knights came up within striking distance, 69-71, after center Dino Daa scored a put back with 50 seconds remaining before end of the third quarter. Jonathan Banal and Dela Peña scored two more baskets in the remaining minutes for the Cardinals’ 75-69 edge to start the final quarter.

After exchanging baskets in the fourth period, Letran tied Mapua for the last time at 82-all as Daa made a lay-up with 5:02 minutes left. A blazing 7-0 burst by the Cardinals in the final five-minute mark earned them the win.

Mapua took an 84-82 lead, after Neil Pascual’s lay up with 2:37 minutes left.

After Jerby Del Rosario scored a basket, Sean Co, who led Mapua with 22 points and nine boards, hit a jumper with 22 seconds left for an 88-82 count. Co then added a free throw in the last eight seconds to peg the final count.

Letran missed its chance to clinch the first ‘Final Four’ slot after suffering its second loss in nine games and defending champion San Beda regained the the top spot with a 7-1 slate.

Jonathan Banal and Jerby Del Rosario added 14 points apiece, while Neil Pascual had 12 points for the Cardinals.

Dino Daa had 19 points and nine rebounds while Bryan Faundo added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Knights.

Individual Scores:

First Game

Mapua (89) – Co 22, Dela Peña 17, Banal 14, Del Rosario 14, Pascual 12, Acosta 6, Mazo 2, Sumalinog 2, Guillermo 0, Raneses 0.

Letran (82) – Daa 19, Faundo 15, Jazul 12, Cabonce 10, Guevarra 8, Latonio 5, Quinday 4, Del Rosario 3, Gutilban 2, Melegrito 2, Reposar 2, Dangcal 0.

Quarter scores: 22-20; 47-48; 75-69; 89-82




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