MANILA, Philippines – Arellano University escaped the clutches of College of Saint Benilde, 86-82, to claim its first win in the second round of the ongoing NCAA Season 91 men's senior basketball tourney on Tuesday, September 1 at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
After suffering a controversial defeat at the hands of Jose Rizal University last week, the Legarda-based brigade redeemed itself by edging the boys from Taft Avenue in the fourth quarter.
"We just can't afford to lose, especially we are now in the second round. Every win counts. Of course, we have to secure our position in the final four," Arellano head coach Jerry Codiñera said in the post-game interview.
Entering the fourth quarter down by 5, Jiovani Jalalon and Allen Enriquez served as the spark plug of Arellano's surge in the final frame.
Jalalon finished with 20 markers, 6 boards, 9 dimes and one steal, while Enriquez registered a double-double performance of 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Aside from the two aforementioned players, Arellano's American reinforcement Dioncee Holts contributed 15 baskets and 8 rebounds as the red-and-blue troop improves their win-loss standing to 7-4.
However, the Green Blazers managed to make it a tough afternoon for Arellano as Saint Benilde opened the contest with a 10-0 run courtesy of Jonathan Grey and John Domingo before Arellano caught up with the help of Jalalon and Enriquez.
Saint Benilde was also able to convert 9 of its 18 beyond-the-arc attempts in the second half, with Travis Jonson and Jose Saavedra initiating the threat from downtown.
Despite losing its second-straight outing and downgrading to a 2-9 record, Saint Benilde was led by Grey with 22 buckets, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.
Arellano (86) - Jalalon 20, Holts 15, Enriquez 14, Salado 12, Nicholls 11, Gumaru 11, Bangga 2, Cadavis 1, Capara 0, Meca 0, De Guzman 0, Zamora 0, Tani
Saint Benilde (82) - Grey 22, Domingo 16, Saavedra 14, Jonson 13, Navye 9, Ongteco 5, Fajarito 2, Sta. Maria 1, Deles 0, Castor 0, San Juan 0
Quarter scores: 16-22, 38-37, 60-54, 86-82.