NCAA 95: Arana dominates, Arellano drops upset ax on LPU

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 23, 2019 06:13 PM
NCAA 95: Arana dominates, Arellano drops upset ax on LPU
Arellano pulled off a stunner against LPU to finish the first round on the highest of highs (Photo by Josh Albelda)

Justin Arana did the heavy lifting, Kent Salado delivered the goods, and formerly one-win Arellano University did a shocking number on title hopeful Lyceum of Philippines University, 87-81, Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre.

Arana turned in a strong showing with a 24-point, 11-rebound double-double to go along with three blocks and three assists all while teaming up with Kent Salado in the Chiefs' furious fightback in the second half that eventually ended as their second win in eight games in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament.

It was also the first-year center and the returning playmaker who connived for all but two of their team's last 10 points. "Puro close games kami, pero this time, 'di kami bumitaw. We just continued playing on," head coach Cholo Martin said post-game.

Behind those two, Arellano pushed forth a late 10-3 surge that turned a 79-77 edge into an 87-80 lead with 32.8 ticks to go on the clock.

From there, it was then the defense that did its magic as the Chiefs frustrated all of Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee and Mike Nzeusseu until the final buzzer.

Not long after, they were celebrating one of the biggest, if not the biggest, surprises in the season. "Napakalaking bagay kasi kailangan naming tumalo ng contenders in order to, at least, makaangat kami," coach Cholo said.

In the end, Salado had 16 points, six rebounds, and four assists while Archie Concepcion and Jade Talampas also added 11 and 10 markers, respectively.

Nzeusseu paced the Pirates with 17 points while JVM was right behind him with 12 markers, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals. With JCM struggling for the second straight game, only with 10 points in 4-of-12 shooting in this one, they have been sent to their first losing skid in the season and now stand at 6-2.

BOX SCORES

ARELLANO 87 - Arana 24, Salado 16, Concepcion 11, Talampas 10, Bayla 9, Sablan 6, Oliva 6, Gayosa 5, Alcoriza 0, Espiritu 0, Sunga 0, De Guzman 0

LPU 81 - Nzeusseu 17, Marcelino JV 12, Ibanez 11, Marcelino JC 10, Santos 10, Tansingco 9, David 6, Valdez 6, Navarro 0, Yong 0, Pretta 0, Remulla 0

QUARTER SCORES: 22-19, 41-47, 65-65, 87-81

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