Chiefs escape Pirates for first win

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 03, 2015 02:30 PM
Chiefs escape Pirates for first win
SQUEAKER. Jiovani Jalalon and Arellano held off oncoming Lyceum for their first victory in the season.

Jiovani Jalalon and Arellano University set off fireworks in the first two quarters as they went for the biggest of bouncebacks following a dismal debut in the 91st Season of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

In the end, however, last year’s runners-up needed one defensive stop to put away the gutsy Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates, 80-78, on Friday at the San Juan Arena.

Jalalon shook off his opening day struggles with 12 points and nine assists in the initial two quarters to steer Arellano to a 51-35 advantage at the half. The Chiefs remained ahead, 78-66, in the middle of the fourth before Lyceum scored six unanswered points to close the gap to 72-78 with three minutes remaining.

Cagayan de Oro native Jalalon sank a floater to break Arellano’s silence, but the Pirates again countered with another six straight to come to as close as 78-80 with 28.3 seconds left. Lyceum then forced the ball out of Jalalon’s hands as Dioncee Holts missed a corner jumper for the Chiefs.

The Pirates quickly ran all the way back to their end of the court, but Joseph Gabayni lost possession of the ball as time expired to preserve the final score.

Talking about their adjustments from their first game which ended with a defeat, coach Jerry Codinera said in his post-game conference, “Mas patient and mas may trust sa teammates ngayon.”

Jalalon exemplified his coach’s statement by ending with 20 points, 12 assists, and six rebounds while Zach Nicholls added 16 points off five triples to send Arellano to 1-1 in the season.

Gabayni and Shaq Alanes scored 20 points apiece for Lyceum who, for the second time in a row, gave a semifinalist from last season a run for their money before coming short in the end.

BOX SCORES

ARELLANO 80 – Jalalon 20, Nicholls 16, Salado 10, Meca 8, Enriquez 6, Cadavis 6, Bangga 4, Holts 4, Tano 4, Ortega 2, Capara 0, Ongolo 0, Zamora 0

LYCEUM 78 – Gabayni 20, Alanes 20, Ayaay 10, Nguidjol 8, Lacastesantos 6, Mbida 5, Lugo 3, Marata 2, Taladua 2, Bulawan 2, Malabanan 0, Baltazar 0, Soliman 0

QUARTER SCORES: 29-17, 51-35, 68-59, 80-78

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