SAN JUAN City – Arellano University gave a preview of things to come by upending University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta, 83-78, on the second day of the 92nd National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball games at the San Juan Arena Sunday (June 26). As expected, guard Jiovani Jalalon made the crucial plays for the Chiefs backed up by the pleasant surprise in rookie big man Lervin Flores on both ends of the floor to tally the win.
Decided only in the latter stages of the final period, Flores tipped in Jalalon’s miss to shatter the game’s final deadlock with 3:50 to play, 75-73. Jalalon then stole the ball and fed a streaking Kent Salado for an easy layup, 77-73.
Gab Dagangon and Zach Nicholls then traded triples, but Salado ran the baseline for a point-blank stab to extend their lead further entering the final two minutes, 82-76. Flores then iced the game with a free throw split off the final foul of Niko Cabiltes with less than a minute to go, 83-76.
The Altas had to contend with the absence of injured main man Bright Akhuetie, leaving Prince Eze alone to man the slot. “Bright’s absence seemed to inspire his teammates so we had a hard time at first because they became unpredictable,” explained Coach Jerry Codinera.
“I told Lervin to go after the rebounds and I will take care of the rest,” said Jalalon. “I just focused on playing the game and setting up my teammates before thinking on my own scoring.”
Jalalon lived up to his word by submitting 25 points on top of nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. Salado followed with 14 points but it was Flores who put in a crucial eight points, 13 rebounds and two blocks.
Dagangon tried to make up for Akhuetie’s absence with 17 points and 15 rebounds. Eze was next with 12 points and 15 rebounds while Gerald Dizon also had 12, all coming from the three-point arc.
Dagangon and Dizon keyed Perpetual Help’s 10-1 run to begin the third period to erect their biggest lead of the contest, 56-46. The Chiefs roared back behind Jalalon and a fresh Dioncee Holts, who rode the bench for the entire first half, to tie the contest entering the fourth period, 64-64.
How They Scored:
ARELLANO (83) – Jalalon 25, Salado 14, Holts 9, Flores 8, Nicholls 6, Gumaru 6, Canete 6, Meca 2, Cadavis 2, Alcoriza 2, Gupilan 2, Enriquez 1, Aguilar 0, Villoria 0.
PERPETUAL HELP (78) – Dagangon 17, Dizon 12, Eze 12, Pido 8, Singontiko 8, Hao 6, Cabiltes 6, Sadiwa 5, Gallardo 4, Coronel 0.
Period Scores: 25-24, 45-46, 64-64, 83-78.