Jalalon triple-double enables Arellano to hold off EAC, gain at least a playoff for Final Four berth
Jiovani Jalalon put together his fourth triple-double performance of the season at a time when the Arellano Chiefs needed it most. Jerome Ascano

JIOVANI Jalalon finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists to lead Arellano to a 98-90 victory over Emilio Aguinaldo College on Tuesday, assuring the Chiefs of at least a playoff for a Final Four spot in the NCAA Season 91 men’s basketball tournament.

Jalalon’s fourth triple-double of the season kept the Chiefs in control in the face of a brave rally by the Generals, allowing them to finish the eliminations with a 12-6 win-los record.

The Chiefs took solo third place after their second straight victory and now await the results of the final elimination round playdate on Friday to determine their fate.

Arellano coach Jerry Codinera, however, admitted the team lost focus while trying to achieve a targeted winning margin which the Chiefs were told they needed in the event of multi-team ties.

Arellano led by as many as 20 points during the game.

“May nagsabi kasi sa amin na we have to win by a certain number of points to avoid complications. Parang na-off track kami dun kasi ang hirap hirap manalo, may points pa kaming hinahabol. Nawala kami sa rhythm,” said Codinera.

Jalalon saved the day for the Chiefs, scoring the team’s final 13 points after the Generals had come within three points, 89-86. He ended up scoring 18 points in the final canto alone.

EAC dropped to 2-15 after losing its 10th straight game.

The scores:

Arellano (98)—Jalalon 31, Nicholls 15, Enriquez 11, Salado 11, Gumaru 8, Meca 7, Holts 4, Cadavis 4, De Guzman 3, Bangga 2, Tano 2, Ongolo-Ongolo 0, Ortega 0, Zamora 0.

EAC (90)—Onwubere 24, Hamadou 20, Munsayac 15, Mejos 13, General 8, Bonleon 5, Diego 5, Pascual 0, Corilla 0, Estacio 0.

Quarters: 26-16, 52-38, 74-61, 98-90.

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