Nicholls’ ‘prayer shot’ lights fire under Arellano in 2OT victory vs JRU

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 07, 2017 07:18 PM
Nicholls lights fire under Arellano in 2OT victory vs JRU
SAY A LITTLE PRAYER. Kent Salado's miracle pass led to Zach Nicholl's miracle shot which ultimately ended up as Arellano's miracle win.

Arellano University needed some sort of magic to finally get going in the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

They got just that on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Zach Nicholls’ Hail Mary heave claimed the momentum the Chiefs would never relinquish in their 115-109 conquest of Jose Rizal University that went the distance and two more extra periods.

Jerry Codinera’s wards were staring down another loss, down 97-100 in the dying seconds of the first overtime before Nicholls put up a shot over the outstretched arms of two defenders. “Buti na lang, Zach’s ‘prayer shot,’ pumasok,” the head coach said post-game, nothing but relieved.

The ball kissed the ring before touching the bottom of the net, sending the game into double-overtime.

In the second extra period, Arellano’s other guys then took charge as Allen Enriquez, Kraniel Villoria, and Archie Concepcion connived for 10 unanswered points that built up a 110-100 advantage with under three minutes remaining. “We were able to get much-needed energy sa bench namin,” Codinera said.

The Heavy Bombers would be unable to pose any threat for the remainder of the game.

In the end, Enriquez, Villoria, and Concepcion combined for 23 points

Of course, Kent Salado was also there and made his mark all over with 17 points, seven assists, and three rebounds.

Still, it was Nicholls who saved the day, and perhaps even the season, for the Chiefs. He only had five points and one make from the field, but that proved to be the tide-turning make for all of the game.

“Tiwala na lang kami nun. It was a big gamble on my part. Bahala na, yun naman ang forte niya, mag-shoot,” the head coach shared. “Because of his right mechanics siguro, malakas ang pulso, umabot.”

Now at 4-6, Arellano finds itself just right behind 5-5 and fourth-running Colegio de San Juan de Letran and not that far from 6-4 and third-running JRU.

The Heavy Bombers remain inside the top three in the standings, but suffer another heartbreak at the hands of Arellano.

From three points down inside the last 10 seconds of regulation, Teytey Teodoro did his thing and shot them onto overtime.

In the first extra period, Teodoro again granted JRU a three-point lead with under 19 ticks to go only to see Nicholls’ “prayer shot” go in.

And in the end, Teodoro’s 30-point explosion was all for naught as they ran out of gas in the second extra period.

BOX SCORES

ARELLANO 115 – Alcoriza 23, Salado 17, Flores 17, Taywan 15, Canete 12, Enriquez 9, Concepcion 9, Nicholls 5, Villoria 5, Abanes 3, Dela Cruz 0, Meca 0, Filart 0

JRU 109 – Teodoro 30, Mendoza 24, Bordon 13, Grospe 10, Abdul Razak 10, Sawat 9, Lasquety 4, Poutouochi 4, Dela Virgen 3, David 2, Mate 0

QUARTER SCORES: 18-20, 43-39, 68-64, 89-89, 100-100 (10T), 115-109 (2OT)

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