First day jitters sting Chiefs
Mark Escarlote on Jun 27, 2015 06:37 PM
Jittery talaga. Humanap kami ng magandang combination pero hindi pa rin nagtama kanina --- Jerry Codinera
The Arellano University Chiefs were a far cry from the team that played in last year’s finals.
They made their ring inside the Mall of Asia Arena bleed with an eye sore of 52 missed shots.
The Chiefs woke up on the wrong side of the bed and fell victim to a hot-streaking Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, 61-78, to start their 91st NCAA senior’s basketball competition Saturday.
"Jittery talaga. Humanap kami ng magandang combination pero hindi pa rin nagtama kanina," said Arellano coach Jerry Codinera.
The Chiefs made a breakthrough championship appearance last year but lost to the five-peat titlists San Beda Red Lions in two games in the best-of-three series.
It was obvious that the loss of their championship core of Prince Caperal, Nard Pinto, Levi Hernandez and Keith Agovida made a big hole in Codinera’s roster.
Gilas cadet mainstay and Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Jiovani Jalalon had a dry spell with a 2-of-10 field goal shooting including a 0-of-4 trip in the free throw line.
His statistics added to the 24-of-76 shooting woes of the Chiefs, who joined Mapua Cardinals in the opening day losers list.
It was a tight ball game after the first quarter with the score tied at 19 but sa 47-22 scoring blast by JRU in the middle quarters broke the game open.
Arellano will possibly play in their next game on July 3 against Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates sans guard Donald Gumaru, who committed a disqualifying foul in a punch at the back of JRU’s Cameroonian center Abdoul Poutouochi in a loose ball play in the last five seconds of the match. The case is still subject for review by Commissioner Bai Cristobal.
Michael Salado was the only bright spot with 15 points while American center Dioncee Holts was limited to only 3-of-10 field goals for the Chiefs.
Follow this writer from Twitter, @fromtheriles