ARELLANO had a rousing start to its NCAA Season 94 campaign after outlasting Emilio Aguinaldo College 75-69 in an overtime thriller in their home floor on Thursday.
Levi dela Cruz and Ian Alban both came up big at clutch as they sent Generals to their second straight loss in the tournament.
Alban, a transferee out of Lyceum, made a triumphant return to the NCAA as he hit a tough acrobatic lay-up to tie the knot at 63 and eventually force overtime.
In the extension, Dela Cruz scored five big points to put away EAC for good, including a triple with 1:46 remaining in the overtime to put the Chiefs to safety.
“Lahat-lahat nagtulong-tulong actually. Yung Concepcion, yung Alban, tapos yung Dela Cruz nung overtime,” said Arellano coach Jerry Codinera who said that the delayed start actually helped them.
“Maganda rin kasi nakapaghanda kami.”
Archie Concepcion led the way for Arellano with a double-double of 15 points and 10 boards as Alban came off the bench to add 13 points in limited minutes. Dela Cruz and Rence Alcoriza contributed 12 apiece for the Chiefs who are missing star guard Kent Salado due to an ACL injury.
Hamadou Laminou and Juju Bautista had huge doubles-doubles for the Generals, scoring 14 apiece while adding 12 and 16 rebounds respectively. Guard Maui Cruz scored all 14 of his points in the second half for the Generals but that went for naught as they shot a terrible 17-of-46 clip from the foul line.
Arellano 75 - Concepcion 15, Alban 13, Alcoriza 12, Dela Cruz 12, Villoria 9, Canete 7,Meca 4, Sera Josef 2, Dela Torre 1, Abdusarad 0, Bayla 0, Codinera 0, Ongolo Ongolo 0, Sacramento 0, Santos 0
EAC 69 – Bautista 14, Laminou 14, Cruz 14,Garcia 7, Mendoza 7,Natividad 5, Robin 4, Diego 2, Magullano 2, Bugarin 0, Cadua 0, Gonzalez 0, Neri 0, Tampoc 0
Quarters: 20-13, 31-26, 49-48, 63-63 (OT) 75-69