ARELLANO University kept alive its flickering hopes for a Final Four spot in NCAA Season 93, demolishing College of St. Benilde, 95-65, on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Center.
The Chiefs improved to 6-9, tied with the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals for sixth place, chasing the fifth running San Sebastian (7-7) and fourth seeded Letran (8-7).
Rence Alcoriza jumpstarted an early Arellano attack as the Chiefs took an early 12 point lead in the first quarter.
With Kent Salado quarterbacking and the Chiefs finally getting some much needed help from bench players Zach Nichols and Richard Abanes, they continued to pad the lead in the second half and the Blazers never stood a chance.
The loss compounded St. Benilde's frustrations as it dropped to solo ninth with a 3-13 record.
"Very important (win). Hindi ko na ma-exaggerate, lahat naman kasi actually (important). Kaya nga medyo ganoon, because of our losses in the first round," said Arellano head coach Jerry Codinera.
"Actually, it's just the same. If we were able to do this doon sa first round sana, in other games. Pero nevertheless, nakuha namin, and it gives us hope, coming to San Sebastian," he added.
Salado led the Chiefs with 16 points and 11 assists with five other players notching double digits for the Chiefs.
Nichols added 13 points, Lervin Flores had 12 points and eight rebounds as Alcoriza, Abanes and Levi dela Cruz chipped in 11 apiece.
Kendrix Belgica paced the Blazers with 18 points and eight rebounds.
Arellano 95 - Salado 16, Nicholls 13, Flores 12, Abanes 11, Alcoriza 11, Dela Cruz 11, Viloria 8, Cañete 4, Enriquez 4, Meca 3, Padilla 2, Concepcion 0, Ongolo Ongolo 0, Taywan 0, Filart 0.
St. Benilde 65 - Belgica 18, Domingo 14, Naboa 8, Dixon 5, Leutcheu 5, San Juan 4, Johnson 3, Sta. Maria 3, Young 3, Pili 2, Castor 0, Suarez 0, Velasco 0.
Quarterscores: 28-16; 47-33; 69-50; 95-65.