ARELLANO was already slipping out of playoff contention and things weren’t looking so as it faced titleholder San Beda.
A third straight loss would have put the Chiefs in the bottom of the pack of remaining playoff contenders, but Jiovani Jalalon wouldn’t allow it.
Five Chiefs scored in double figures but Jalalon stood out, coming up with 22 in an 88-84 win over the Lions.
That performance put the Chiefs back in the playoff frame and earned Jalalon the ACCEL/3XVI NCAA Press Corps Player of the Week from scribes covering the league.
Jalalon said he was determined to lift Arellano after huge losses to Mapua and Letran.
“’Yung dalawang talo namin, nanghihinayang talaga ako dahil alam namin na panalo na kami dun eh,” said Jalalon.
“Nung nag-practice kami, tahimik lang ako. Hindi ko muna kinakausap ‘yung mga teammates ko dahil gusto kong pumasok sa Final Four. Nakikinig lang ako kay coach. Nagfofocus lang ako kasi alam ko ang San Beda, hindi magpapatalo,” he added.
Letran leads with a 12-4 record with San Beda in second with a 12-5 card.
Arellano, joint third with Perpetual and Jose Rizal University at 11-6, tries to further boost its playoff chance when it takes on also-ran Emilio Aguinaldo College on Tuesday.