ARELLANO caught San Sebastian with a defensive blanket from which the Golden Stags failed to get out as the Chiefs rolled to a 96-86 victory in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan on Wednesday.
Jiovani Jalalon once again stood at the forefront of the Chiefs’ suffocating half-court trap, while spearheading the team’s offense too, as he flirted with a triple-double of 21 points and league-highs of 13 assists and seven steals.
The speedy sophomore guard did most of the damage in the final frame where the Chiefs pulled away.
“He showed he can really hold this team together,” Chiefs coach Jerry Codiñera said of Jalalon. “He’s a (Mark) Barroca-type of player.”
Lanky big men Keith Agovida and Allen Enriquez also used their length to disrupt the Stags’ offense, while contributing on the offensive side as well with 17 points apiece.
The Chiefs thus registered a fourth victory in five games and, thanks to University of Perpetual Help’s first loss earlier, gained solo second place behind defending champion San Beda.
The Legrada-based dribblers also dealt the Stags their second loss in five games.