The Mapua Cardinals made their return to the final four after ousting the Arellano Chiefs, 93-75, in NCAA Season 91 action Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
It was the first time that the Cardinals, a long-time cellar-dweller, booked a final four ticket since 2010.
Josan Nimes scored 21 points and five assists while Allwell Oraeme lorded over the boards with 31 rebounds to go along with his 13 points to lead the Cardinals which bucked a 37-point outburst from Chiefs guard Jiovani Jalalon.
Mapua (12-6) will still face the JRU Heavy Bombers (12-6) in a playoff for the third spot.
Meanwhile, five-time champion San Beda edged rival Letran, 83-78, to lock up the top seed for the 10th straight season.
Ola Adeogun scored 21 points and nine rebounds for the Red Lions (13-5) who will enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.
Mark Cruz finished with 29 points to pace Letran (13-5) which settled for the No.2 spot.