Arellano torches Mapua with 13 triples for twice-to-beat.
Arellano flashed its brilliance behind the arc as it overpowered Mapua, 95-82, yesterday to clinch the first twice-to-beat semifinal advantage in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Chiefs unloaded 13 three-pointers – five in the last 5:36 of the game – to snare their 14th win in 17 outings.
The win, likewise, stretched Arellano’s winning run to four games with only one game left in the eliminations.
Jio Jalalon exploded anew with a season-high 35 points including five triples, while adding five rebounds, five assists and five steals.
While Jalalon carried the fight all throughout, Donald Gumaru celebrated his 24th birthday with an impressive performance by firing 15 points, all coming in the three-point lane.
Down by one with 6:02 left in the game, 75-74, the Chiefs blasted a 20-4 run to grab the 95-78 upperhand and never looked back.
“It’s a great boost for us as we prepare for the Final Four. They executed our plays well,” said Arellano Coach Jerry Codiñera, who leaned on mostly to his guards to outhustle the Cardinals.
The Cardinals dropped to 11-6, but still have a chance for the third seeding.
CJ Isit had 25 points, while Allwell Oraeme finished with 13 points, 20 rebounds and two blocks for Mapua, but their efforts were not enough to douse the offensive fire of Arellano in the final stretch.
Kent Salado also stepped up for Arellano with 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, even as Dioncee Holts took charge in the shaded lane with 11 boards.
Earlier, Emilio Aguinaldo College held its composure and outlasted a resilient College of St. Benilde, 65-62, to clinch its sixth win against 11 losses.
In the other game, San Beda outplayed University of Perpetual Help in the payoff period en route to an 84-75 triumph to also claim the other twice-to-beat semifinal incentive.
AC Soberano had 18 points, Davon Potts posted 15 points, and Javee Mocon finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds as the Red Lions cemented their hold for second place with 13-4.
Perpetual tied with Mapua at third place with 11-6.
ARELLANO 95 – Jalalon 35, Salado 15, Gumaru 15, Cadavis 7, Flores 6, Canete 5, Enriquez 4, Nichols 3, Meca 3, Villoria 2, Holts 0, Aguilar 0.
MAPUA 82 – Isit 25, Menina 16, Oraeme 13, Eriobu 8, Orquina 7, Raflores 6, Estrella 3, Aguirre 2, Serrano 2, Victoria 0, Bunag 0.
Quarters: 16-13; 45-35; 67-63; 95-82.
SAN BEDA 84 – Soberano 18, Potts 15, Mocon 14, Bolick 9, Adamos 9, Presbitero 7, Sara 6, Optana 3, Noah 3, Tongco 0, Alas 0, Bahio 0, Bonsubre 0, Navarro 0.
PERPETUAL 75 – Akhuetie 29, Ilagan 16, Dagangon 11, Coronel 9, Singontiko 5, Pido 2, Eze 2, Gallardo 1, Sadiwa 0, Dizon 0.
Quarters: 20-12; 37-35; 55-58; 84-75.