Mapua fought for dear life and stunned second-seeded Lyceum, 62-59, to kickstart its second round campaign and take its second win in the NCAA Season 98 men's basketball tournament Sunday, Oct. 16, at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
Paolo Hernandez and Warren Bonifacio connived down the stretch to hold off the Pirates after overcoming several deadlocks throughout the game, enabling the Cardinals to finally enter the win column again for a 2-8 record.
Bonifacio finished with a double-double performance of 10 points on a 5-of-8 shooting and 14 rebounds while Hernandez chipped in seven points, seven rebounds, and three assists.
Rence Nocum, who had 10 points and six assists, sparked Mapua's rally in the payoff period after firing a triple to equalize at 53-all but Shawn Umali was quick to respond with a basket of his own.
Down by two only, the Cardinals uncorked a 7-0 run en route to a five-point lead at 60-55 to put some distance against the trailing Pirates.
Mclaude Guadana, however, pumped life for Lyceum as he hit a three-pointer from the top of the key with 27.4 seconds left.
Jeric Pido, who led Mapua's balanced attack with 11 points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting from the free throw line, then showed poise and drained two freebies in the ensuing play to keep a 62-58 cushion.
Guadana and Enoch Valdez both missed from beyond the arc in the hopes of making it a one-ball possession, which spelled doom for the Pirates, who sustained a 7-3 slate.
After keeping the possession, a desperate Renzo Navarro had to take over, drew a foul from inside the basket, and intentionally split his free throw with 4.7 ticks left.
Time is of the essence at this point as Bonifacio grabbed the defensive rebound and Pido zoomed away straight to the half court to seal the deal for the Cardinals.
Juaqui Garcia also chalked up 10 points for Mapua, joining Pido, Nocum, and Bonifacio in hitting the double-digit mark.
Guadana paced the Pirates with 15 points built on three triples along with three rebounds and three assists while Omar Larupay contributed eight points and nine rebounds.
MAPUA 62 -- Pido 11, Nocum 10, Bonifacio 10, Garcia 10, Hernandez 7, Mercado 4, Soriano 4, Cuenco 2, Parinas 2, Agustin 2, Salenga 0, Igliane 0, Lacap 0.
LPU 59 -- Guadana 15, Larupay 8, Umali 7, Bravo 6, Cunanan 6, Barba 4, Navarro 4, Montano 4, Villegas 3, Valdez 2, Penafiel 0, Omandac 0.
Quarters: 12-18, 30-29, 42-48, 62-59.