ARELLANO stuck to what it does best this time, overwhelming Emilio Aguinaldo College with its high-octane offense, 105-88, on Wednesday to move a step closer to a breakthrough Final Four berth in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
After unusually turning to their defense to pull off a 75-69 victory over Jose Rizal University last time, the Chiefs, the league’s top-scoring team, went for the win with all guns blazing to notch their 11th victory in 15 games.
The second-running side also compounded the sorrow of the already eliminated Generals, who suffered a sixth straight setback and 12th overall against only three wins.
Prince Caperal put up his best offensive game of the season, tallying a team-high 18 point to lead five players in double figures for the Chiefs, who led from start to finish.
“I didn’t want my players to come up with a (complacent) attitude nung lumamang,” Chiefs coach Jerry Codinera said. “We just played our game.”
Indeed, the Chiefs showed no mercy as they established an early double-digit lead, which ballooned to 34 points after back-to-back triples from Zach Nicholls late in the third quarter.
The lead was so insurmountable at that point that the Chiefs could afford to let the Generals to score 31 points in the payoff period.
The loss put to naught the near-perfect offensive performance of Generals skipper John Tayongtong, who made all his 10 shots for a game-high 25 points in just 26 minutes, missing just one of his five free throws.
AU 105 – Caperal 18, Enriquez 12, Nicholls 11, Holts 11, Agovida 10, Hernandez 8, Jalalon 7, Ciriacruz 6, Palma 6, Pinto 6, Gumaru 4, Bangga 4, Cadavis 2, Ortega 0
EAC 88 – Tayongtong 25, Serrano 15, Jamon 12, General 9, Onwubere 8, Saludo 7, Mejos 6, Quilanita 4, Pascual 2, Santos 0, Arquero 0
Quarterscores: 24-13, 55-34, 85-57, 105-88