Arellano Chiefs boost semifinal hopes with big win over fading San Beda Red Lions
Jiovani Jalalon comes up with 25 points as Arellano stuns powerhouse San Beda. Jerome Ascano

ARELLANO improved its Final Four aspirations on Thursday with a huge 91-72 win over erstwhile league-leader San Beda in the NCAA Season 91 men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.

Jiovani Jalalon sparked the Chiefs in the big victory to improve their win-loss record to 11-6, tying Perpetual Help and Jose Rizal University for third in the team standings.

Jalalon had 11 of his 25 points in the first period to lift Arellano to a 27-18 lead and the Chiefs went on to complete the wire-to-wire victory. He also added seven rebounds and eight assists.

The Chiefs snapped a two-game skid.

“Mabibigat ’yung two games. I’m just so happy because their character is different. Hindi sila na-disheartened sa dalawang talo,” said Arellano coach Jerry Codinera.

“It’s totally different dito sa San Beda. They were consistent and they listen to the instructions—manage the ball and take good shots,” Codinera said.

San Beda fell to second place with 12-5, allowing Letran to take top spot with a 12-4 record before the two teams face each other on Tuesday to wrap up the elimination round.

Arellano, meanwhile, needs to hurdle struggling Emilio Aguinaldo College on Tuesday to gain at least a playoff for a Final Four berth.

Allen Enriquez had 15 points while Brylle Meca had 11 points for the Chiefs.

San Beda has been swept in the eliminations by Arellano, the losing finalist last year.

Ola Adeogun had 17 points and seven rebounds but Art de la Cruz was limited to only 10 points and committed seven turnovers as San Beda absorbed its third loss in the last five games.

The scores:

Arellano 91 —Jalalon 25, Enriquez 15, Meca 11, Holts 10, Salado 10, Gumaru 9, Cadavis 6, Nicholls 5, Bangga 0, Ongolo-Ongolo 0, Ortega 0, Zamora 0, Tano 0.

San Beda 72 —Adeogun 17, Dela Cruz 10, Mocon 8, Soberano 7, Koga 6, Tankoua 6, Tongco 6, Amer 4, Reyes 2, Bonsubre 2, Sorela 2, Cabanag 0.

Quarterscores: 27-18; 48-37; 73-56; 91-72.

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