ARELLANO pulled off a monumental 87-81 upset to snap its three-game losing streak at the expense of Lyceum Friday in the NCAA Season 95 seniors basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Justin Arana stepped up for the Chiefs with his 24 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and three blocks as the Chiefs improved to 2-6.
His dominant presence in the paint broke the 77-all deadlock before putting Arellano up by six, 83-77 with 1:37 left.
"Napakalaking bagay sa amin ito kasi kailangan namin tumalo ng contenders para umangat kami," said coach Cholo Martin.
Kent Salado added 16 points, six boards, and four assists as he spurred Arellano's second half comeback from an 11-point hole and a 65-59 deficit in the third quarter to make it a game and knot the score at 65 heading into the payoff period.
Archie Concepcion chimed in 11 points, six rebounds, two assists, and two blocks, while Jade Talampas had 10 points, five boards, and two dimes in the win.
It was such a confidence-boosting victory for the Chiefs that Martin couldn't help but look ahead into the second round.
"At least, makailan pa kami. May target ka na number of wins para sa top four and if we win against stronger teams, mas maganda sa amin yung ganun," he said.
Jayson David still tried to fight for the Pirates, cutting the lead down to five, 85-80, with 47.6 ticks left, but Salado iced the game with a layup in the final 32.8 seconds.
Mike Nzeusseu topped Lyceum with 17 points and three rebounds, while Jayvee Marcelino had 12 points, seven boards, two assists, and two steals in the defeat.
The Pirates suffered their first back-to-back losses in the eliminations in three years to fall to 6-3 to end the first round.
ARELLANO 87 -- Arana 24, Salado 16, Concepcion 11, Talampas 10, Bayla 9, Sablan 6, Oliva 6, Gayosa 5, Alcoriza 0, Espiritu 0, Sunga 0, De Guzman 0.
LYCEUM 81 -- Nzeusseu 17, Jv. Marcelino 12, Ibanez 11, Jc. Marcelino 10, Santos 10, Tansingco 9, David 6, Valdez 6, Navarro 0, Yong 0, Pretta 0, Remulla 0.
Quarters: 22-19, 41-47, 65-65, 87-81.