MANILA, Philippines – One of Arellano University coach Koy Banal’s concerns heading into this NCAA Season 89 is can his team get enough production from its bench.
Banal got his answer Saturday night as the Chiefs got a boost from their backups to fight off Lyceum, 68-60.
“I give it to Jiovani (Jalalon) and Allen (Enriquez) and the rest of the crew. Because of their composure we were able to get over the hump,” Banal, whose team had 32 points off the bench, commended.
With star playmaker John Pinto struggling, Jiovani Alalon stepped up with a team-high 13 points to go along with four assists in 25 minutes.
Allen Enriquez, who filled in after forward Levi Hernandez got ejected late in the third quarter on a disqualifying foul, also put in work off the bench with 10 points on three-of-four shooting from the field and four-of-four at the line in 22 minutes.
“We have good execution and communication,” said Jalalon.
Aside from the bench help, Banal was also pleased with his skipper James Forrester’s play with just two games in after recovering from a left knee injury which sidelined him for about a month.
“It’s still a long way to go [before he gets into game shape].Rusty pa din kung makikita niyo. Yung decision making and shot selection but I hope with five days off before we play San Beda it can help him,” said Banal, who added that his team is now embracing the tag as title contenders and the expectations and pressure that come with it.
Forrester finished with eight points on bad shooting night on top of three rebounds and five assists.
“Anybody in our team can step up in any given game. They won’t be a member of this team if you don’t have the capability.”