Chiefs follow Jalalonís lead past pesky Altas

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 26, 2016 02:13 PM
Chiefs follow Jalalonís lead past pesky Altas
DEEP DOWN. Arellano showed off their deeper and younger lineup versus a very competitive Perpetual side.

It wasn’t the emphatic entry everybody was expecting, but it was nonetheless a win heard ‘round the NCAA 92 Men’s Basketball Tournament for Arellano University.

Rallying around the injured Bright Akhuetie, the University of Perpetual Help forced a back-and-forth affair before backup finally came to help Jiovani Jalalon secure an 83-79 decision on Sunday at the San Juan Arena.

“The Bus Driver” stepped on the gas right from tip-off and already had 13 points off three triples at the break. However, the fighting Altas kept battling and knotted the score at 73 inside the last five minutes.

It was at that point that four Chiefs not named Jalalon got together for a 10-3 surge that sent them ahead, 83-76, with 58 ticks on the clock. Standing out in particular during that timeframe was forward Lervin Flores, playing in his first NCAA game, who was all over the floor and collected three points, four rebounds, and one steal.

Arellano wouldn’t be able to add any more points to their tally, but their lead proved to be more than enough for a tournament-opening win. “Mahirap, mahirap ang first win. Pinakamahirap yun, buti nakuha namin,” a relieved coach Jerey Codinera said.

Jalalon finished with 25 points and nine rebounds while running mate Kent Salado added 14 points and six rebounds of his own. Rookie Flores then contributed eight points and 13 rebounds to personally showcase the Chiefs’ newfound youth and depth.

Without Akhuetie who was nursing a knee sprain, it was Gab Dagangon who fronted the effort for Perpetual with a 17-point, 15-rebound double-double.

BOX SCORES

ARELLANO 83 - Jalalon 25, Salado 14, Holts 9, Flores 8, Nicholls 6, Gumaru 6, Canete 6, Meca 2, Cadavis 2, Alcoriza 2, Gupilan 2, Enriquez 1, Aguilar 0, Villoria 0.

PERPETUAL 78 - Dagangon 17, Eze 12, Dizon 12, Pido 8, Singontiko 8, Hao 6, Cabiltes 6, Sadiwa 5, Gallardo 4, Coronel 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 25-24, 45-46, 64-64, 83-78.

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