NCAA: Arellano leans on Acidre to hold off JRUBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines—Arellano could only watch as its best player, John Pinto, went down on the floor with leg cramps.
That, however, didn’t prevent the Chiefs to maintain their steady play down the stretch as they held off Jose Rizal University, 85-82, Monday in the NCAA Season 88 men’s basketball action at The Arena in San Juan city.
“We stayed positive,” said Arellano head coach Koy Banal.
“The goal today was to stay positive,” Banal reiterated.
Rocky Acidre went on a tear in the fourth period as he scored 13 of his game-high 22 points in that quarter alone, including two free throws that set the final tally. Acidre, the streak shooter, also dished out six assists.
Nate Matute’s fadeaway three that could have forced overtime sailed left as time expired.
“The problem was John Pinto had cramps, but maybe that’s when Acidre got his rhythm,” said Banal.
Perhaps. But it was really James Forrester who benefited as he was the one fielded in to replace the injured Pinto with 2:53 left.
Forrester, the chiseled forward, scored four straight points that kept JRU from closing further. He finished with 16 points in just 13 minutes.
The Heavy Bombers rallied from 14 down to knot the game at 75 with 3:25 left on an open triple by Matute, who came free after a nice inbound play.
Arellano pulled away anew but again JRU put up another run capped by a rare four-point play by John Villarias, which brought the Bombers back, 82-83, with 15.1 ticks left.
Villarias scored 17 points but they weren’t enough as JRU fell to 7-3, tying San Sebastian.