DIONCEE Holts had 17 points and 12 rebounds as Arellano defeated Ateneo, 72-68, to stay perfect in the 1st Philippine-Australia Goodwill Basketball Invitational on Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Holts produced the crucial baskets for last season’s NCAA runner-up to turn back an Ateneo side that mounted a gallant fightback from 17 points down, keeping the Chiefs unbeaten through two games in the tournament.
Under league rules, the team with the best record will automatically win the invitational organized by Sports Vision and sponsored by MVP Sports Foundation and Sports5.
“Alam naman natin ang Ateneo, they kept on coming back,” said Arellano coach Jerry Codinera. “Very intimidating. But I’m so glad that they delivered kahit na marami kaming errors. It’s a learning experience.”
Holts hit a three after Ateneo made it a three-point game with under two minutes left in the fourth, 67-61. Gywne Capacio hit two free throws to cut the deficit to one but Holts answered with a twinner with 53.5 seconds to play.
Von Pessumal and Gwyne Capacio had 13 points each for Ateneo, which missed Kiefer Ravena in the game due to dehydration.
Arellano (72) — Holts 17, Meca 15, Celado 11, Nichols 7, Gumaru 4, Enriquez 4, Tano 4, Suarez 3, Zamora 3, Packing 2, De Guzman 2, Ortega 0, Ruiz 0, Ongolo 0, Taywan 0.
Ateneo (68) — Pessumal 13, Capacio 13, Cani 11, Apacible 8, Chibueze 8, Murphy 4, T. Ravena 4, A. Tolentino 3, Porter 2, Babilonia 2, Gotladera 0, V. Tolentino 0.
Quarterscores: 18-13, 33-29, 45-33, 72-68.