USUALLY relying on a fast-paced lineup led by guards Jiovani Jalalon and Nard Pinto, Arellano fielded a big roster and came up with a huge win to take second place in the NCAA standings.
Focus was on Dioncee Holts and Prince Caperal as the Chiefs downed the JRU Bombers, 75-69, with both big men coming up with double-digit scores.
“First time nangyari yung nag-iba yung rotation ko,” Arellano coach Jerry Codiñera said. “We tried to use combinations that worked for us.”
The win was Arellano’s 10th in 14 outings, putting them in good position for the Final Four by creating some gap from the pursuers.
“We always tried to outscore our opponents, but we had to put emphasis on our defense this time,” added the PBA great, known as Defense Minister during his career.
Left out in a fast-paced lineup, Caperal, the 17th overall pick in the recent PBA Draft selected by Globalport, thrived when the pace was slowed down.
“Kilala kami sa offense namin, pero our coaches keep on reminding us na hindi lang kami pwede makipagpalitan ng score,” Caperal said. “Kailangan mag-defensive stops rin kami.”
JRU guards Philip Paniamogan and Jaycee Asuncion still came up big with 20 and 14 points, respectively, but Codiñera was glad his gambit paid off as Caperal held Bombers stalwart Michael Mabulac to just four points on 1-of-9 shooting.
“I told (Prince) ’don’t mind your points, basta rumebound ka lang’. Pero nakatulong pa siya scoring,” Codiñera said. “I guess hindi nagkamali yung Globalport sa kanya.”