MANILA, Philippines — Arellano started out firing but needed to ward off a late run by Adamson for an 80-71 win Saturday in the 2013 Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at the Arena in San Juan.
The Chiefs built a lead as big as 24 points, 41-17, early in the game — which they used to fend off the pesky Falcons, who managed to cut into the lead in the fourth quarter.
“We stared out strong.we were aggressive on both ends. That’s why when Adamson stepped on the pedal, atleast we had cushion,” said head coach Koy Banal.
Arellano banked on the fluidity of its offense in its fourth straight win, racking up 22 assists — 14 coming from John Pinto, who even had six more than Adamson’s combined output.
Pinto also had 10 points, along with Ralph Salcedo, who had five rebounds, and three steals. James Forrester led the Chiefs with 16 points.
Jericho Cruz, meanwhile, scored 24 points on 22 shots for Adamson, even as Sewa and Rodney Brondial added 16 and 15, respectively, while pulling down 13 boards each.
Despite getting outgunned early, the Falcons still caught up late in the fourth by closing the gap to just five points, 70-75, on two freethrows by Ingrid Sewa with 2:03 to play.
But Adamson just ran out of gas and time to complete what could’ve been a stunning comeback and reeled to its first loss in the tournament.