Salado carries Chiefs in OT
Kent Salado staked his claim as Arellano’s top gun, nailing the decisive basket that lifted the Chiefs to a 73-72 overtime victory over the Jose Rizal U Heavy Bombers Tuesday night in NCAA Season 93 basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Given the green light to take over the offense by coach Jerry Codiñera, the reed-thin guard blew past Gio Lasquety before hitting the floater over the outstretched arms of Abdel Poutouchi for the winning basket with two tenths of a second left in the extra period.
It was a terrific response from Salado, after he missed a couple of free throws in regulation that allowed the Bombers to send the game into overtime at 62-all.
Codiñera marveled at his squad’s resolve and composure with Salado, in particular, showing why he’s been hailed as the successor of Jio Jalalon. Salado finished with a game-high 25 points.
“I don’t know how to describe it,” said Codiñera. “This game was a great character builder for us because I saw how the players trusted each other.”
Codiñera said he had full confidence in Salado to deliver, after Jed Mendoza, who sent the game to overtime with a triple, split his free throws to give the Bombers a one-point lead, 70-71, with four seconds remaining in overtime.
“We had to go to Salado and we were able to execute,” said Codiñera. “We trust him.”
The Chiefs, who bounced back from a 76-67 loss to San Sebastian last week, also got a solid effort from Zach Nicholls who hit two triples to keep Arellano afloat in overtime.
Earlier, Letran turned back Emilio Aguinaldo College, 83-80, for its first victory of the season, while San Beda got back to winning ways with an emphatic 76-52 triumph over the St. Benilde Blazers.
The Knights drew a big lift from the unheralded pair of Jeo Ambohot and Jeremiah Taladua, who combined for 29 points as the Knights stunned one of the teams tipped to contend for a Final Four berth this season.
Ambohot, the 6-foot-6 center, limited EAC’s Cameroonian counterpart Hamadou Laminou, to just seven points on 1-of-7 shooting.