Arellano stays alive after surviving EAC’s furious fightback

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 22, 2017 04:14 PM
Arellano stays alive after surviving EAC’s furious fightback
MUCH-NEEDED. Lervin Flores and Arellano came through in a virtual must-win situation.

Though it is far from being the top team it was a year ago, Arellano University is nonetheless still showing signs of life in the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Second-year player Michael Canete fueled the early blitz before Kent Salado and Lervin Flores delivered the big defensive stops late as the Chiefs got the better of fighting Emilio Aguinaldo College, 84-79, on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Canete scored a career-best 27 points to go along with 10 rebounds to show his squad the way to 5-8. “Si Mike naman, any time, kaya niya. At least, now, malaking point output niya so talagang ang laking tulong sa amin yun,” head coach Jerry Codinera said.

They are just right behind Colegio San Juan de Letran, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, and EAC for the last two playoff berths.

The versatile forward had 11 points in the first quarter alone as Arellano had the lead from start to finish.

It was Salado and Flores’ defense in the endgame, however, that put down their opponents once and for all.

Holding onto a three-point lead with 50 ticks to go, Salado stole the ball right from the dribble of Francis Munsayac.

In their own side of the court, Flores was then fouled and made good on two free throws for an 81-76 lead. He followed that up with an emphatic denial of Jerome Garcia’s triple try.

Those defensive stops snuffed out any chances EAC had left as charities from Levi Dela Cruz and Zach Nicholls put the finishing touches on the Chiefs’ much-needed win.

Salado wound up with 23 points and five assists while Flores also added 16 markers and eight rebounds of his own.

Arellano’s aggressiveness also paid off as they fished 31 fouls from their opponents leading to 47 free throws. From their scoring output, 30 came from there.

For comparison, the Generals got only 12 free throws.

Garcia topped the scoring column for them with 15 points. Sidney Onwubere chipped in 10 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out under the last two minutes.

Undone by Munsayac’s turnover and Garcia’s blocked attempt, however, they drop to 6-7, still sixth.

BOX SCORES

ARELLANO 84 – Canete 27, Salado 23, Flores 16, Dela Cruz 13, Enriquez 3, Nicholls 2, Alcoriza 0, Meca 0, Concepcion 0, Taywan 0

EAC 79 – Garcia 15, Mendoza J 13, Guzman 12, Onwubere 10, Diego 9, Tampoc 8, Munsayac 4, Pascua 4, Bugarin 4, Mendoza I 0, Neri 0, Corilla 0

QUARTER SCORES: 24-22, 46-36, 63-52, 84-79

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