IN just his first year at Arellano and in his first round in the NCAA, Justin Arana is making an instant impact.
Seldom-used in three years with UST, Arana has transformed into a pillar for the Chiefs and their rebuild, and has been voted Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps NCAA Player of the Week.
Arana was picked by scribes covering the beat over San Beda's Calvin Oftana and Evan Nelle, and San Sebastian's Allyn Bulanadi for the citation.
The 6-foot-5 Arana came up big in the clutch to lead Arellano in its game-defining run, hitting shot after shot as the Chiefs downed two-time finalist Lyceum.
Arana wound up with 24 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks in the Chiefs' 87-81 sinking of the Pirates, a win that put an end to their three-game skid.
"We talk from time to time and I remind him na magaling talaga siya," said Arellano mentor Cholo Martin. "He was consistent the whole week."
Making his effort even more impressive, Arana outworked opposing bruiser Mike Nzeusseu in crunch time, helping hold the Cameroonian scoreless in the fourth quarter.
"Sobrang laking bagay sa akin ngayon 'to kasi before sa UST, quality minutes lang ako. Binigyan ako ng kumpyansa ng Arellano and ng coach namin," shared Arana.
"Kaya ko ni-grab ko lang talaga ang opportunity na 'to para ibalik sa kanila yung pasasalamat ko na tinanggap nila ako."