Gutsy Arellano dodges upset ax from EAC

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 26, 2016 02:33 PM
Gutsy Arellano dodges upset ax from EAC
ALMOST. Arellano barely avoided their third loss in the last four games.

Another day, another competitive contest for Emilio Aguinaldo College in the 92nd Season of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Once again, however, they just couldn’t close it out.

Arellano University sure had a hand in making it so after their experience and depth got the better of the Generals for a 88-82 triumph on Tuesday at the San Juan Arena.

Preseason favorites, but slow to start thus far in the tournament, the Chiefs found themselves in a dogfight with a one-win team. In fact, a 21-9 run turned an eight-point deficit into a 66-62 lead for EAC late in the third.

Still on top by one early in the fourth, however, the Generals lost their composure and Arellano pounced on their miscues with eight unanswered points for an 81-74 advantage inside the last four minutes.

During what turned out to be the pivotal push, four different players scored for the Chiefs.

Still, EAC yet again came knocking on the door at 82-85 with 42 ticks on the clock before Jiovani Jalalon’s floater and Dioncee Holts’ split from the stripe iced the game once and for all for Arellano.

With Jalalon continuing his personal slump and only collecting, for his usual high standards, 15 points and 12 assists, it was Lervin Flores who served as the pillar for the Chiefs with 20 points, 15 rebounds, and two blocks.

Even with their fourth win in six games, coach Jerry Codinera admitted they still have a lot to prove if they are to be considered championship contenders again. As he put it, “It feels good to return to the win column. Kahit hindi ganun ka-spectacular ang panalo, panalo pa rin.”

For the Generals, it was Hamadou Laminou’s 23 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks that fronted the effort. In failing to make good in 13 of their 31 free throws, however, they lost for the fifth time in a row following their tournament-opening win.

BOX SCORES

ARELLANO 88 – Flores 20, Jalalon 15, Cadavis 12, Alcoriza 10, Salado 7, Nicholls 7, Viloria 5, Canete 4, Gumaru 3, Zamora 3, Holts 1, Enriquez 1, Aguilar 0, Meca 0, Gupilan 0

EAC 82 – Laminou 23, Morada 17, Onwubere 16, King 11, Munsayac 10, Guzman 3, Pascua 1, General 1, Diego 0, Corilla 0, Aguas 0, Estacio 0, Mendoza 0, Serano 0

QUARTER SCORES: 21-22, 45-36, 62-66, 88-82

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