DIONCEE Holts promised a breakout game to coach Jerry Codinera. And boy, did he deliver.
The American big man of Arellano poured in 10 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, leading the Chiefs to a thrilling 100-96 overtime win over the Mapua Cardinals on Friday in the NCAA Season 91 men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
Holts finally performed according to expectations after averaging just 8.0 points and 5.6 rebounds going into the game against the Cardinals.
He was the leading scorer of the Chiefs last season when they made it all the way to the finals.
“He promised me, ‘Coach I’ll be ready,’” said Codinera.
Holts knew he has been struggling in his first three games this season, which is why he’s determined to bounce back in the game against Mapua.
“You don’t have to say that,” said Holts in jest, when told by a reporter about his slow start to the season.
Turning serious, Holts said: “I felt that I was letting the team down. So if I come with energy and control the paint a little bit and everybody’s scoring and playing defense, it really makes us hard to beat.”
Holts’ effort complemented another brilliant performance by national player Jiovani Jalalon, who scored a game-high 26 points while also adding four rebounds, seven assists, and three steals in the overtime win.
Holts also joined forces with Michael Salado in putting together a telling a 7-0 run in the extra period that clinched the victory for Arellano.
Defensively, he was also satisfied with how the Chiefs held their ground against Mapua’s Allwell Oraeme.
“He is strong. But coach had a good strategy on him that worked for everyone. As long as we’ll keeping him off the board and not having a big game like he usually does, I think we’ll be okay,” said Holts.