Wednesday, 18 May 2011 43 Comments
JONATHAN Banal failed to win the game for the Mapúa Institute of Technology Cardinals in regulation. So when he got a another chance, in the second overtime, he made sure to make good use of it.
Banal hit two game-clinching free throws in double-overtime after missing a scoop shot that would have prevented the first extra session as the Cardinals prevailed, 89-85 over the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers in the 2011 FilOil Flying V Pre-Season Premier Cup last May 19 at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Playing without Allan Mangahas down the stretch because of cramps, the Cardinals’ defense forced the Bombers into four misses on their last possession, which prevented them from cutting into Mapúa’s four-point lead.
“We expected that JRU would come back because of its character,” said Cardinals head coach Chito Victolero. “But I told them during the first overtime, ‘It’s not yet over.’ We want this game.”
Mangahas poured in 24 before he was forced to sit. Banal added 18, and Fil-Palestinian Yousef Taha scored 15 and hauled down a massive 23 rebounds. The big man, though, was often the target of JRU’s swarming defense, forcing him into nine turnovers.
Mapúa led by as much as nine points twice in the third quarter,after entering halftime tied 40-40. A six-point run bridging the third and fourth quarters made it a three-point game for JRU, 64-61, with four points coming courtesy of Nate Matute. But the Cardinals fought back, scoring eight unanswered to tie their largest lead of the game at 10, 71-61.
Matute did not give up, though, pouring in eight more points to get pull his squad to within four, 73-69. A clutch corner triple by John Villarias knotted things at 75 with less than 10 seconds to go, a bucket that sent hostilities to an extra session.
In the first extra period, Kenneth Ighalo stole the leather from John Lopez and threw a perfect outlet pass to a streaking Banal, whose layup tied things at 82 apiece. After an empty JRU possession and with 45 seconds left, Mangahas missed a step-back triple. But rookie Josan Nimes was there to snare the offensive rebound. Unfortunately, Nimes missed on his follow-up drive, and Taha’s botched an attempt to dunk home the miss, sending the game into the tournament’s second double overtime. There, Mapúa locked up defensively by putting the clamps on Matute and Villarias, who were the recipients of staggered and double screens as the men from Mandaluyong desperately tried setting up the pair.
Despite losing a 10-point lead, Victolerio was still upbeat, saying, “The most important thing is, this time, before the NCAA, we learn something. We lost versus FEU [after losing a 10 point lead], but this game, we won.”
The Heavy Bombers had played one overtime game before, last May 2, a win against the CSB Blazers, 101-96.
Matute matched Mangahas’ output of 24 points. But with the game on the line multiple times, the streaky shooter could not connect, finishing 3-of-18 from behind the arc due mostly to JRU’s attempts to steal the win. Jeckster Apinan added a double-double of 17 points and 15 rebounds, while Villarias added 12.
The win put Mapúa at 3-1 in Group B, while JRU’s chances of making the semi-finals dimmed as it fell to 2-4. W5
Mapúa 89 – Mangahas 24, Banal 18, Taha 15, Nimes 12, Sarangay 7, Ighalo 6, Parala 6, Pascual 1, Stevens 0, Maniego 0
JRU 85 – Matute 24, Apinan 17, Villarias 12, Kabigting 9, Almario 8, Carampil 7, Lopez 4, Gaco 2, Mendoza 2, de la Paz 0, Montemayor 0, Monserat 0, Salavaeria 0
Quarter scoring: 23-13, 40-40, 64-59, 75-75, 82-82, 89-85