ARELLANO gave Jose Rizal University a dose of its own medicine, hacking out a 75-69 victory on Friday at The Arena in San Juan to gain solo second spot in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
The league’s highest-scoring team, the Chiefs turned to their defense this time
The Chiefs held the defensive-oriented Bombers scoreless in the last three minutes to notch a 10th win in 14 games and break a tie in second spot, while dealing their victims their fifth loss in the same span to allow College of St. Benilde to gain a share of third spot.
Dioncee Holts dominated the paint with 22 points, 13, boards, three assists, and one block, while Prince Caperal chipped in 10 markers, four rebounds, and two assists for the Chiefs.
“We respect their shooters,” Chiefs coach Jerry Codinera said, referring to Philip Paniamogan, Jaycee Asuncion, and Tey Teodoro, who combined for all of the Bombers’ eight triples, but misfired down the stretch.
“I’m amazed at how they shoot the ball—parang layup lang eh. Talagang pag may konting silip sa ring, shu-shoot eh,” the man known as the Defense Minister added. “If you don’t respect their game, you will pay for it.”
There were no extra periods in this encounter, but the Chiefs and Heavy Bombers engaged in another grueling grind-out battle much like their triple-overtime first-round encounter. Now the teams are even in their head-to-head matchup this regular season.
In a match that saw six lead changes and five deadlocks, it was the defense of the Chiefs, the league’s highest-scoring team, that proved to be the difference.
Asuncion scored eight of his 14 points in the final frame, while Paniamogan buried a left-wing triple that pulled the Bombers to within 69-70 with 3:20 to go, but Bombers failed score from thereon as the Chiefs clamped down.
Holts took over on offense, firing eight points in the fourth quarter, while Nard Pinto scored just six, but half came from a triple that gave the Chiefs a 73-69 lead that proved enough for them to hold on.
AU 75 – Holts 22, Caperal 10, Hernandez 7, Enriquez 7, Jalalon 6, Pinto 6, Ortega 5, Bangga 4, Gumaru 2, Nicholls 2, Ciriacruz 2, Agovida 2
JRU 69 – Paniamogan 20, Asuncion 14, Teodoro 13, Abdul Wahab 7, Sanchez 7, Balagtas 4, Mabulac 4, Lasquety 0, Salaveria 0, Munez 0, Grospe 0, Benavides 0
Quarterscores: 20-16, 39-35, 56-51, 75-69