Chiefs claim solo second, extinguishes Heavy Bombers in NCAA 90
MANILA, Philippines – Overtimes and buzzer beaters are not required this time around.
Making sure that the ball would bounce for only 40 minutes, the Arellano University Chiefs clamped down the defense of the Jose Rizal University Bombers, 75-69, during their second meeting in the NCAA Seniors basketball tournament at the San Juan Arena Friday evening.
Jiovani Jalalon would be the hero for Arellano this time with a game-saving block on Bernabe Teodoro’s three-point attempt with 4.2 seconds remaining, 73-69.
He would also ice the two free throws after Teodoro hacked him in the follow through and give the Chiefs the solo second seed in the standings with a 10-4 record, behind the San Beda Red Lions with an 11-2 card.
JRU is now at a third-place tie with the College of Saint Benilde with 9-5 win-loss records.
During their first outing, John Pinto was the one who salvaged their victory with a game-saving layup in the final buzzer of their 99-97 triple-overtime classic.
Chiefs head coach Jerry Codiñera said he had a hard time convincing his offensive-oriented players to play defense in their matchup against another offensive-minded team.
“I told them we had to play defense, I had a hard time convincing them,” Codiñera said. “JRU has shooters, not just ordinary shooters, but lights-out shooters.”
“We have to respect their shooters, if not we’re going to be in deep trouble.”
Playing their new style of game, the Chiefs extinguished the napalms of the Heavy Bombers for 3:20 to close out the game.
Philip Paniamogan would put JRU close, 70-69, with a three-pointer from the right wing but it would be the last point for the Heavy Bombers.
Arellano held the lead at the start of the fourth, 58-51, until a 6-2 dash from JRU tied it at 60-60 with Jaycee Asuncion knocking down a three-pointer from the left corner with 7:23 remaining, but it was the closest JRU would come.
Taking back the lead for good measure, the Chiefs staged a 10-4 sprint with Dioncee Holts hitting on a three from the left corner to give Arellano a 70-64 lead.
Codiñera said they analyzed their first round performance and realized that they should put emphasis on their defense.
“We analyzed the previous round and realized that we can’t outscore our way out of every game, then we put emphasis on our defense,” Codiñera said.
Arellano held an eight-point lead midway through the third period, 49-41, courtesy of Levi Hernandez’ driving floater.
Frontcourt partners Holts and Prince Caperal shared the scoring burden for Arellano as they were the only players to score on double figures as Codiñera’s scheme played perfectly.
Codiñera had to sacrifice the scoring from his point guard, shooting guard and small forward spots to defend JRU’s shooters.
“I had to sacrifice their scoring, my backcourt players,” Codiñera said. “I told them to not look for points and just play defense.”
Holts was atop the Chiefs totem pole with 22 points and 13 boards while Caperal added 10 points.
Hernandez and Allan Enriquez had seven points apiece, the third-best scoring output from any player, for the Chiefs.
Paniamogan had 20 points for JRU but struggled heavily against the Arellano defense, turning the ball over eight times.
Asuncion had 14 points while Teodoro added 13 for the Heavy Bombers.
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