Generals outwork Chiefs to overcome Laminou injury
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 08, 2017 04:25 PM
It’s getting clearer and clearer that Emilio Aguinaldo College will not have Cameroonian Hamadou Laminou at full health in the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
And yet, the fire still burns for them with many others stepping up.
Juju Bautista remained a revelation, Jerome Garcia got his shooting going, and the Generals topped Arellano University, 85-79, on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Laminou, who is yet to fully heal from a left knee injury in the preseason, hurt his right knee in the first quarter. “Actually, that’s what we have been preparing for. If you remember, ganun din nangyari sa amin last time, wala siya,” a beaming head coach Ariel Sison said.
Sison had much reason to smile as without the Cameroonian center, EAC just soldiered on with Sidney Onwubere taking care of the interior and powering them onto a five-point lead late in the second quarter.
They got complacent, however, and allowed the Chiefs to go on an 18-9 run for a 56-52 lead at the 4:56 mark of the third period.
It was at that point that Garcia caught fire and scored 10 of his 13 points in the 15-2 counter that took back the advantage for his team, 67-58.
Arellano crept back to within 79-81 with 49 ticks to go only to see a split from the stripe by Onwubere, a turnover by Kent Salado, and three charities by Raymund Pascua finish them off.
Onwubere wound up with a 17-point, 14-rebound double-double while Bautista contributed 14 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two blocks to make sure EAC did not feel the absence of Laminou. “I’m very thankful na nag-deliver ‘tong veterans ko,” Sison expressed.
With the win, the Generals climb to solo third in the standings at 3-2. “Talagang pinaghandaan namin na makakuha ng consecutive wins,” the head coach said.
They will bring back-to-back wins heading into their home game up against undefeated Lyceum of the Philippines University on Thursday. “We want to be the first team to beat them,” Sison said.
On the other hand, the Chiefs suffered a second straight setback despite the best efforts of Salado who had 24 points, four assists, four rebounds, and two steals. They now stand with an uninspiring 2-4 record.
EAC 85 – Onwubere 17, Bautista 14, Garcia 13, Munsayac 11, Laminou 8, Diego 6, Guzman 6, Pascua 5, Corilla 3, Neri 2, Tampoc 0, Mendoza J 0, Mendoza I 0
ARELLANO 79 – Salado 24, Enriquez 17, Alcoriza 12, Flores 7, Dela Cruz 5, Meca 3, Villoria 3, Nicholls 3, Concepcion 3, Canete 2, Abanes 0, Ongolo Ongolo 0
QUARTER SCORES: 22-20, 43-43, 67-59, 85-79
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