The Arellano University (AU) Chiefs and the Colegio de San Juan de Letran (CSJL) Knights scored wins against separate foes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament at the San Juan Arena on Friday.
The victories were the second of the two ball clubs early in this season.
Top guard Jiovanni Jalalon posted 31 points, 11 assists and eight steals to power the AU Chiefs to a 99-81 win over the San Sebastian College Recoletos Golden Stags.
“He’s the leader of this team,” said Arellano U coach Jerry Codiñera of Jalalon. “That’s our plan, to harass their guards and try to score easy points.”
The Chiefs exuded aggression in the first two quarters of the match erecting a 46-39 lead at halftime.
Ryan Costelo and Alvin Capobres mounted a counter-offensive for San Sebastian in the third period but their effort was unrewarded.
Arellano entered the final round blazing with a 28-point explosion to give the Stags their first loss this season.
Kent Salado also stepped up for AU with 17 points, five rebounds and six assists while Lervin Flores had 10 markers and 13 boards.
“We scored quickly if Jio is the one in the court, he makes everything easy for us,” said Salado.
Foreign student athlete Dioncee Holts had 16 points and five rebounds also for Arellano.
Costelo notched 15 points and six boards for the Stags while teammates Capobres and Michael Calisaan contributed 14 and 12 points, respectively.
“Maybe it was our bus ride going here because we did something with ABS-CBN and we had fun and we felt relaxed going into this game,” Jajalon said of their victory.
In the other match, defending champion Letran thumped the College of Saint Benilde (CSB) Blazers, 56-52.
Jomari Sollano led the Knights with 16 points and nine rebounds while JP Calvo and Bong Quinto contributed 11 points each.
Letran established a 13-6 lead in the first quarter en route to a 29-20 advantage before the break.
Behind by just one-point, 15-14, in the third period, Benilde ran out of gas to cut down their foes’ 43-35 lead going into the final period of the game. It was CSB’s second straight loss this season.
Rey Nambatac had eight points, three rebounds and four assists for Letran while Felix Apreku and JerrickAlso Balanza had four makers each.
Reinforcement Clement Leutcheu starred for the Blazers with a double-double performance of 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Also, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA won over the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, 58-50.
Big man Bright Akhuetie led Perpetual with 19 points and eight rebounds while Gerald Dizon and Gab Daganon had 12 and 10 markers, respectively.