Arellano University and University of Perpetual Help System Dalta forged a four-way tie at the No. 2 spot after beating their respective foes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 92 men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City on Friday.
Combo guard Jiovanni Jalalon led the Chiefs to a 70-59 win over College of Saint Benilde improving its win-loss record to 5-2. Jalalon tallied 12 of his 16 points in the third period in addition to seven rebounds, six assists and four steals.
“We have tough games ahead in the second round and we’re a little bit worried that’s why we’re practicing hard. We must improve more our offense and defense,” Arellano University coach Jerry Codiñera told reporters during the post game interview.
Zach Nichols contributed 14 points; Kent Salado 11 points while Julius Cadavis notched eight points and 12 rebounds also for Arellano.
Christian Fajarito posted 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Blazers, who were still winless in eight games.
Meanwhile, University of Perpetual Help System DALTA banked on Bright Akhuetie’s huge fourth quarter output to survive Lyceum of the Philippines University, 71-68. With the win, Perpetual joined defending champion Colegio San Juan de Letran, Arellano University and Mapua Institute of Technology in the No. 2 spot.
San Beda College remains on top of the standings with an unblemished 7-0 win-loss record.
Bright Akhuetie notched 10 of his 13 points in the pivotal payoff period in addition to 13 rebounds, five assists and three blocks. The Altas, after stretching its winning streak to three, now hold a 5-2 win-loss record.
Perpetual Help’s Gab Dagangon had a double-double finishing with 16 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Kieth Pido and Prinze Eze added 10 points each also for the Altas.
“It was really our defense that helped us,” said Perpetual Help coach Gimwell Gican during a post game interview. “Bright (Akhuetie) also stepped up huge in the fourth quarter despite struggling in most part of the game.”
Mike Nzeusseu led Lyceum with 18 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and four blocks.
“I’m really happy that we contained him [Nzeusseu],” added Gican.
Earlier, Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) snapped a five-game losing skid by beating San Sebastian College, 73-67, to improve its win-loss record to 2-5.
Cameroonian big man Hamadou Laminou posted 18 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks while shooting guard Jorem Morada contributed 18 points.
Sidney Onwubere scored 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting in the field along with five rebounds and four assists also for the Generals.
“I thought I can’t go back here anymore [in the press room],” said EAC coach Ariel Sison during the postgame interview. “Those close games made us stronger. We are not giving up and we’re hoping to improve this season.”
Michael Calisaan led the Golden Stags with 15 points. San Sebastian’s win-loss record dropped to 1-6.