The Arellano University Chiefs defeated the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals 80-73, on Monday in the 90th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament at The San Juan Arena in San Juan City.
Levi Hernandez, John Pinto and Dioncee Holts fortified their defense down the stretch to stop the Generals’ surge and notched their second straight win. With the victory, the Chiefs under coach Gerry Codiñera joined the San Beda College Red Lions and University of Perpetual Help Altas with similar 2-0 win-loss records at the top of the standings.
The previously unbeaten Generals are now sharing the third spot with Lyceum Pirates that are also bearing a 1-1 card.
After a seesaw battle in the first two quarters, the Chiefs’ Hernandez , Pinto and Nichole Bangga initiated a fiery 22-10 run to post their biggest lead, 67-55, going into the pivotal period. But the Generals recovered on time to narrow the gap down to only four points, 73-77, with only 1:23 remaining. Hernandez topscored for the Chiefs with 20 points and four rebounds.
Codiñera said that the victory is a good preparation for their next game against the San Beda Red Lions on July 12, while Coach Gerry Esplana of the EAC Generals wants his wards to bounce back when they face the Perpetual Help Altas on Friday.
Meanwhile, Earl Scottie Thompson of Perpetual Help bagged the ACCEL Quantum Plus-316 NCAA Press Corps Player of the Week plum for leading the Altas to an 82-79 win over San Sebastian College Stags on Saturday.
“That kid is a hard worker on and off the court. I’m happy that he is doing well,” said Perpetual Help coach Aric del Rosario of the 21-year-old Thompson in Filipino.
“I came from injury last year when I returned so I couldn’t contribute that much. Now that I’m in full strength, I’m trying to help the team as much as I can,” said Thompson.
Team Standings W L
San Beda 2 0
Perpetual Help 2 0
Arellano U 2 0
EAC 1 1
San Sebastian 2 1
Lyceum 1 1
St. Benilde 0 1
Letran 0 2
Jose Rizal 0 2
Mapua 0 2