IF Justin Arana would have it his way, he would have hauled down a 30th rebound on Wednesday.
Justin Arana on rebound record
That elusive 30th rebound would have tied him with Mapua's Allwell Oraeme for the record of most rebounds grabbed in a single game in the NCAA which was set back in 2015.
But Arana will settle with a W as Arellano kept its campaign going with a 65-62 victory over Jose Rizal University and book its ticket to the play-in tournament of the NCAA Season 97 seniors basketball competition.
"Sobrang okay na ako at sobrang tuwa ko at nanalo na kami. Maraming salamat sa teammates ko dahil nagtulong-tulong kami as a team," he said after delivering a performance to remember with his 18 points and a career-best 29 boards.
Arana carried the team on his back as he played all 40 minutes to provide that stability the Chiefs badly needed to nail this fourth win in nine games.
"Ayokong lumabas kasi gusto kong tulungan yung mga teammates ko at gusto kong kumuha ng rebounds. Yung depensa kasi, yun ang puhunan namin. Yung score darating na lang kaya mas focused ako sa depensa," he said.
The fact also isn't lost on Arana that if Arellano lost this game, that would have meant the end of his collegiate career.
"Last game ko dapat ito kaya ayokong matalo," he said.
Given a new lease on life, Arana is driven to make the most of this second chance as Arellano heads to the play-in tournament awaiting the winner of Perpetual and Emilio Aguinaldo College.
It would be a tough climb, yet a mountain that the 6-foot-7 center is ready to scale.
"Mahirap pero one game at a time lang at pagtatrabahuan namin yan," he said. "Puhunan namin yung sipag at tiyaga sa depensa, so uunti-untiin namin yung play-in hanggang makarating sa Final Four at sana championship."
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