Jiovani Jalalon took charge in the opening quarter to help Arellano University (AU) beat reigning champion San Beda College (SBC) 91-72 in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 91 men’s basketball game at The Arena in San Juan City on Thursday.
Jalalon, a combo guard, posted 25 points, including four triples plus seven rebounds and eight assists while forward Allen Enriquez notched 15 points. The Chiefs, now with 11 wins against six losses continue its battle for a Final Four berth.
“I did not talk during our practice after we lost our last two games. I took this matter seriously by listening carefully to our head coach [Jerry Codinera],” said Jalalon, whose 11 points in the first quarter allowed AU to establish a 27-18 lead at the start of second period.
“We will give our best against Emilio Aguinaldo College, our last game in the elimination round.”
The Chiefs jumped from sharing the fifth spot with the Mapua Cardinals (10-6) to occupying the third place with the Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas and Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers that are also carrying 11-6 win-loss records.
“We just want a win, plain and simple,” said Codinera. “The character still remains despite coming out from two losses. This is our last chance [of reaching the Final Four]and I’m happy that we won this game.”
The 19-point defeat of the Lions’ was their worst this season since their 80-93 loss to the Letran Knights in the first round on July 16.
Arellano University’s win also denied the reigning five-peat champion San Beda an outright Final Four entry and a twice-to-beat incentive.
Brylle Meca finished with 11 points while Dioncee Holts and Michael Salado contributed 10 points each for the Chiefs.
Ola Adeogun scored 17 points plus seven rebounds to lead the Red Lions.
San Beda’s win-loss record dropped to 12-5.
In the non-bearing first game, College of Saint Benilde (CSB) defeated Lyceum of the Philippines University 59-56 to post a back-to-back win. Though the Blazers improved their win-loss record to 5-12, they are already out of the Final Four race.
Lyceum ended its campaign this season with a dismal 4-14 win-loss record.
In the high school category, San Beda beat Arellano 80-76 to extend its winning streak to 17. It is now one-win short of sweeping its way into the finals.