Arellano survives Salado's injury to stay in playoff hunt

Arellano survives Salado's injury to stay in playoff hunt
HERE I COME. Kent Salado and Arellano are, all of a sudden, in joint possession of the fifth spot.

Don't look now, but "Master Chief" Kent Salado and Arellano Univerity are cooking just as they have been pushed to the brink in the NCAA 93 Men's Basketball Tournament.

Salado fired 22 points all while steering his Chiefs to the strong start that eventually ended as an 85-79 triumph over San Sebastian College-Recoletos on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Building off their biggest win in the season just last Friday, Salado and his crew raced to a 15-7 lead in the first five minutes of this one. “Nung first three quarters, our good start was laid out by Kent,” a satisfied head coach Jerry Codinera said.

They would remain ahead before the Golden Stags made their inevitable run and came to as close as 62-65 early in the final frame.

Making things worse for Arellano was the leg injury their floor leader sustained in a rebounding sequence against RK Ilagan.

Still, they found a way, with Levi Dela Cruz taking the reins of leadership and Richard Abanes and Michael Canete taking over on offense. “It’s high time for them to know how to close (the game) without Kent,” Codinera said.

With Baste decreasing its deficit to just 65-71 with under two minutes remaining, Abanes and Canete connived for a 7-2 run that granted a 78-70 advantage in favor of the Chiefs.

Not long after, they were celebrating their second consecutive victory that raises their record to 7-9 - all even with San Sebastian for the fifth spot and just behind fourth-running and 8-8 Colegio de San Juan de Letran.

The late-tournament run is a much-welcome development for an Arellano side which looked listless in the earlygoing. This, following their runner-up finish a season ago.

They are only hoping the magic continues in their last two assignments up against University of Perpetual Help and Mapua University.

The same can’t be said for the Golden Stags who suffered their second straight setback. Now, they are also in a must-win situation as they wrap up the elimination round also versus the Cardinals and the Altas.

Ilagan and Allyn Bulanadi paced them with 14 points apiece. Main man Michael Calisaan was limited to only seven points.

BOX SCORES

ARELLANO 85 - Salado 22, Cañete 15, Dela Cruz 10, Nicholls 9, Viloria 8, Abanes 6, Flores 4, Meca 4, Alcoriza 3, Concepcion 2, Enriquez 2, Taywan 0.

SAN SEBASTIAN 79 - Bulanadi 14, Ilagan 14, Calma 12, Gayosa 9, Navarro 9, Calisaan 7, Capobres 7, Costelo 3, David 2, Mercado 2, Baetiong 0, Quipse 0, Valdez 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 20-19, 38-33, 60-52, 85-79.

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