ARELLANO nearly squandered a huge lead but held on to nip University of the Philippines, 74-66, on Monday in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup at The Arena in San Juan.
Nard Pinto and Prince Caperal delivered down the stretch for the Chiefs, who won for the second straight time despite seeing their 16-point cushion cut in half midway through the payoff period.
“We were undisciplined offensively and defensively. We played individually that’s why medyo dumikit sila,” Chiefs coach Koy Banal said.
James Forrester actually topscored with 18 markers for the Chiefs, but the Filipino-Canadian forward did most of the damage in the first three quarters.
“As a team, personally, I think we need to do a better job in closing out games,” Forrester said. “We’ve had large leads and seen it kinda fade away during the fourth quarter.”
“That’s just all the mental aspect of basketball,” he added. “We need to recognize that once we have a big lead, we’ve got to maintain it and all of that comes from execution and defense.”
The Chiefs, who prevailed despite shooting just 38 percent shooting from the field, established a 66-50 lead with more than six minutes remaining in the game, but saw the Maroons threaten and nudge within 70-62 after a left-wing triple from Joseph Marata.
Marata, who had five three-point conversions overall, spearheaded the Maroons with 19 points in a losing effort. It was UP’s second straight setback.
Arellano 74 – Forrester 18, Pinto 12, Agovida 11, Jalalon 11, Caperal 7, Hernandez 6, Salcedo 5, Cadavis 2, Enriquez 2, Nicholls 0, Malanday 0, Bangga 0.
UP 66 – Marata 19, Soyud 13, Wong 8, Asilum 6, Gallarza 6, Ball 5, Reyes 4, Lao 3, Desiderio 2, Romero 0, Gingerich 0, Harris 0, Ligad 0, Amar 0, Paras 0.
Quarterscores: 14-12; 34-32; 55-47; 74-66.