The Arellano University (AU) Chiefs clinched the top spot in Group A of the FilOil Flying V Pre-season Premier Cup after defeating the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons, 75-61, at the San Juan Arena on Friday.
With the win, the Chiefs improved their elimination round record to five wins and a loss while the Fighting Maroons’ dropped to two wins and three losses.
Arellano opened the game with a slim advantage before gaining momentum en route to a 23-point explosion and a 39-27 lead at the break.
As play resumed, the Diliman-based crew moved within striking distance, 52-46, before the fourth quarter.
But Arellano U regained control and became the aggressor in the last stretch of the game to finally secure their fifth win in the pre-season tourney.
Donald Gumaru finished with 12 points; five rebounds and three assists for the Chiefs while teammates Michael Salado and Rence Alcoriza had 11 and six points, respectively
Allen Enriquez and Zach Nichols contributed nine points each also for AU.
Dave Moralde led the Maroons with 15 points while forward Paul Desiderio registered 11 markers and eight boards.
Meanwhile, the San Sebastian College Recoletos (SSCR) Golden Stags handed the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (UPHSD) Altas their second loss in the competition, 80-70.
Jerrick Fabian and Alvin Capobres led the Stags with 20 points each in their third win.
The San Sebastian Stags now hold a record of three wins and three losses in Group A while Perpetual has four wins and two defeats.
Chester Serajosef also stepped up in the victory of SSCR, posting 11 points off a three out of six shooting performance from the field along with eight rebounds.
Consequently, Justin Mercado and Regile Ilagan had six points each for the Golden Stags.
Forward Gab Daganon led UPHSD with 16 markers while guard Jeffrey Coronel notched 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Jaelle Nevin Reyes