ARELLANO opened a big lead in the first half before surviving a furious run by Lyceum, 80-78, to claim its first win in the NCAA Season 91 seniors basketball at the San Juan Arena.
Jio Jalalon led a hot first half as the Chiefs opened a 16-point halftime lead which proved just enough cushion when the Pirates came charging back in the final stretch.
Jalalon finished with a double-double of 20 points and 12 assists, while also adding four steals as he atoned for his lackadaisical outing in an opening loss to Jose Rizal University where he only scored four points.
“Ang hirap lang talaga nung opening, very jittery talaga sila. We are happy na nakabawi kami,” said Arellano coach Jerry Codiñera.
Still, the Chiefs, runner-ups to San Beda last season, nearly lost a 78-66 lead with five minutes left after a 12-2 run capped by a basket by Joseph Gabayni, 80-78.
But the Pirates couldn’t connect on three of their attempts in the final possession that would have sent the game into overtime.
The Chiefs, who also got 16 points from Zach Nicholls and 10 from Michael Salado, led by as many as 18 points, 41-23, en route to a 51-35 halftime lead.
Gabayni and Shaq Alanes had 20 points each for Lyceum, which lost for the second straight game. Gabayni actually had a double-double as he grabbed 18 rebounds.
Arellano (80) — Jalalon 20, Nicholls 16, Salado 10. Meca 8, Enriquez 6, Cadavis 6, Bangga 4, Holts 4, Tano 4, Ortega 2, Capara 0, Ongolo 0, Zamora 0.
Lyceum (78) — Gabayni 20, Alanes 20, Ayaay 10, Nguidjol 8, Lacastesantos 6, Mbida 5, Lugo 3, Marata 2, Taladua 2, Bulawan 2, Malabanan 0. Baltazar 0, Soliman 0.
Quarterscores: 29-17, 51-35, 68-59, 80-78.