San Sebastian College-Recoletos outscored Mapua in the stretch as it eked out a shock 69-67 win over the Mapua Cardinals on Friday, to resuscitate its dying Final Four campaign in the NCAA Season 92 Men’s Basketball Division at the FilOil Flying V Arena, San Juan.

The Stags fought back from as much as 18 points down early in the second quarter, and from a five-point deficit in the last two minutes to snatch the win, which is their third-straight and fourth-overall against nine losses that kept them in Final Four contention.

Interestingly, San Sebastian’s other two wins came at the expense of Perpetual Help (9-3) and San Beda (10-2), teams that are currently in the magic four like Mapua, which fell to 7-5 (win-loss).

“We’re starting to learn to win and I’m happy for the team”, said San Sebastian coach Egay Macaraya.

Ryan Costelo fired a game-high 20 points, while Michael Calisaan is starting to regain old form after a motorcycle accident a month before the season started, and contributed a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds.

The Cardinals were in total control at the start as it raced to a 25-8 lead in the first quarter, and 26-8 in the second quarter before settling for a 38-27 advantage at the end of the first half.

However, Costelo and Calisaan connived in the third quarter which held Mapua to just eight points in the period, while exploding for 23 hits as San Sebastian snatched the lead, 50-46, going into the final canto.

Yet the Cardinals came alive and launched an onslaught which regained a 64-59 upper hand on a basket by Shane Menina with 2.15 minutes to go.

Yet it turned out to be their last hurrah as the Stags outscored them, 10-3, the rest of the way to steal the win.

Game Scores:

San Sebastian Stags (69) – Costelo 20, Calisaan 15, Ilagan 12, Bulanadi 8, Capobres 4, Gayosa 3, Mercado 3, Fabian 2, Calma 2, Baetiong 0, David 0, Johnson 0, Quipse 0, Sera Josef 0, Valdez 0.

Mapua (67) – Oraeme 16, Menina 12, Estrella 9, Victoria 9, Isit 6, Raflores 6, Bunag 4, Eriobu 4, Serrano 1, Biteng 0, Orquina 0.

Quarterscores: 8-25, 27-38, 50-46, 69-67.