NCAA: Dela Cruz game-winner caps off Arellano upset of Baste

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 27, 2018 04:15 PM
NCAA: Dela Cruz game-winner caps off Arellano upset of Baste
Levi Dela Cruz saved the day for Arellano vs San Sebastian

Levi Dela Cruz would not be fazed whenever it matters most in the NCAA 94 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

With Arellano University down by two with 14 ticks to go, Dela Cruz took charge and took the three that took down favored San Sebastian College-Recoletos in overtime, 82-81, on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

The Chiefs were in control for majority of the matchup before the Golden Stags came charging right back. “We’re so thankful na umabot pa kami sa overtime. Good thing the boys stuck to our game plan,” head coach Jerry Codinera said post-game.

Baste was up, 81-79, in the dying moments of the extra period until Arellano’s lead guard got the ball and decided to launch a triple try over the outstretched arms of both Arjan Dela Cruz and Michael Are.

The ball proceeded to graze the back of the rim before falling to the bottom of the net.

The Golden Stags still had 4.2 seconds to make something happen, but Dela Cruz intercepted the inbound pass to finish off Arellano’s return to the win column now at 2-1.

Dela Cruz wound up with 10 points, all coming in the final frame and overtime, to go along with nine assists, five rebounds, and four assists. “He has a big heart. He doesn’t back down from an opportunity,” coach Jerry said of him.

Forwards Maui Serajosef and Rence Alcoriza also did their part, combining for 23 points and five rebounds.

Still, it was the two-way play of their second-year guard that proved to be the difference for the Chiefs – much like in their first win of the season when he scored his team’s last seven points.

The same nerves of steel were missing for San Sebastian whose roller-coaster ride continues now at 2-3. Michael Calisaan fronted their effort with a 28-point, 17-rebound double-double, but also muffed on two free throws that would have ended the game in regulation.

In all, the Golden Stags didn’t help their cause by going 12-of-28 from the charity stripe.

BOX SCORES

ARELLANO 82 – Alban 18, Alcoriza 15, Dela Cruz 10, Sera Josef 8, Villoria 8, Concepcion 7, Canete 6, Santos 5, Dela Torre 3, Sacramento 2, Bayla 0, Ongolo Ongolo 0, Codinera 0, Segura 0, Abdurasad 0

SAN SEBASTIAN 81 – Calisaan 28, Calma 15, Capobres 12, Dela Cruz 10, Are 8, Ilagan 4, Valdez 2, Sumoda 2, Villapando 0, Baytan 0, Desoyo 0, Isidro 0

QUARTER SCORES: 17-12, 31-25, 43-53, 72-72, 82-81 (OT)

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