ARELLANO waxed hot from the field and hammered Lyceum, 83-52, for its second straight win in the 88th NCAA men’s basketball tournament Saturday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Chiefs established an early lead and never looked back. They shot 56 percent overall from the field en route to the 31-point victory – their biggest winning margin since joining the league in 2009.
“There’s nothing extraordinary about what we did against Lyceum,” Arellano coach Koy Banal said. “The players were just focused.”
Filipino-Canadian James Forrester fired 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting to pace the Chiefs, who won for the second game in a row after losing their first three of the season.
Arellano team captain Vergel Zulueta scored all of his 12 points in the second half as the Chiefs maintained a commanding 20-point cushion.
Unlike Arellano, the Pirates failed to find any rhythm from the get-go and shot a paltry 33 percent from the floor.
Aside from field-goal shooting, the Chiefs also clobbered the Pirates off the boards, 52-30. Six players had at least six rebounds for Arellano led by Prince Caperal’s eight rebounds.
“The fatigue factor probably set in,” Banal said of the Pirates, who also played last Thursday against Mapua. “They didn’t have the legs to keep up with us.”
Chris Cayabyab scored 12 markers to lead the Pirates, who fell to 2-4.
Up by four, 20-16, at the end of the first, the Chiefs’ lead slowly ballooned to 12 at halftime, and 25 at the end of the third.
Arellano (83) -- Forrester 19, Zulueta 12, Hernandez 10, Caperal 9, Cadavis 8, Pinto 8, Salcedo 7, Acidre 5, Bangga 2, Palma 2, Espiras 1, Lunas 0
Lyceum (52) -- Cayabyab 12, Guevarra 10, Zamora 8, Ko 4, Azores 4, Francisco 4, Laude 3, Garcia 3, Martinez 2, Pascual 2, Edding 0, Mallari 0, Ambohot 0
Quarter scores: 20-16, 43-31, 66-41, 83-52