The Arellano University Chiefs banked on a fourth quarter rally to escape with a 68-63 win over the Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals on Friday in the 90th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament at the San Juan Arena.
John Pinto, Levi Hernandez and Keith Jasper Agovida led the Chiefs’ 20-15 run in the pivotal period to clip the Cardinals and join the San Sebastian College Stags in the third spot behind University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas (3-0) and solo leader San Beda College Red Lions (4-0).
Coach Jerry Codiñera praised his wards for improving their win-loss record to 3-1. The Cardinals’ card dropped to 0-5.
Mapua started strong posting an early lead, 10-4, but the Chiefs kept on coming back and tied the score nine times, the last 48-48, going into the final frame. The closest the Cardinals could narrow the gap was at 58-62, through Andrew Estrella’s back-to-back baskets with only 4:15 to go but Pinto scored on a jumper to preserve Arellano’s lead.
Agovida finished with 12 points plus nine rebounds and was also six-of-six in the free throw line. Ralph Salcedo, John Pinto and Dioncee Holts contributed 10 points each. Andrew Estrella notched 20 points, Leo Jose Gabo 10 and Jessie Saitanan nine for Mapua.
Meanwhile, NCAA Management Committee Chairman Paul Supan of host Jose Rizal University announced that there will be no game tomorrow to give way to the FIBA 3×3 that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is hosting.
Earlier in the juniors division, the Mapua Red Robins beat the Arellano Junior Chiefs, 71-64, improving their win-loss record to 3-2.
Team Standings W L
San Beda 4 0
Perpetual Help 3 0
San Sebastian 3 1
Arellano 3 1
Jose Rizal 2 2
Lyceum 2 2
EAC 1 2
Letran 1 3
St. Benilde 0 3
Mapua 0 5