This appears in the Saturday, May 21, 2016 edition of the Business Mirror.
Jalalon-less AU Chiefs rally for win vs SSCR
by rick olivares
No Jiovani Jalalon.
Not exactly an easy game. However the Arellano University Chiefs got by with their other two incredible guards Kent Salado and Donald Gumaru to pip San Sebastian College, 80-78, at the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Stags looked to stun the Chiefs with its strong drive and draw game plan that allowed for plenty of undergoal stabs en route to a 52-25 first half lead. The Chiefs regroup and rattled off 11 fastbreak points in the third period that saw them cut down the lead, 64-60, heading into the final canto.
In spite of coming close, Arellano continued to be frustrated in their attempts to overhaul the lead. After a 24-second violation with 3:57 left, it looked bleak for the Chiefs as San Sebastian scored on a Michael Calissan short stab to make it, 73-68.
The Chiefs started their final push on the defensive end with young power forward Lervin Flores atoning for an earlier miscue by coming up with a steal that saw Gumaru score on a layup. Flores came up big once more when a pair of blocked shots led to three triples — all assisted by Salado — by Gumaru.
Gumaru’s second triple gave Arellano its first taste of the lead at 76-75. After a pair of free throws by SSCR’s Alvin Capobres, gave the lead back to the Stags for a moment, Gumaru once more drilled a triple from the left corner pocket, this time for a lead they would not surrender.
Center Dioncee Holts added a free throw to notch the count at 80-78.
The Stags rued their missed free throws and turnovers down the stretch that hurt their chances of garnering a win. San Sebastian missed five free throws and committed five turnovers in the final frame that ushered in their doom. They collectively only connected on 18-31 free throw attempts while their turnover count went up from a mere seven in the first half to 11 more in the final 20 minutes.
“It was a difficult game,” pronounced Arellano coach Jerry Codinera. “But this is a game we hope to learn from.” Codinera added that the Chiefs just came off a difficult loss as well to Mapua in another league that coupled with their previous loss to Perpetual Help in the Premier Cup had his team in a funk.
The Chiefs were without their star playmaker Jiovani Jalalon who is with the national team for the Stankovic Cup from May 22-28 in Bangkok.
Salado led Arellano with 18 points while Gumaru knocked in 18. Bylle Meca and Allen Enriquez each chipped in 10 points.
San Sebastian’s Michael Calissan was the only Stag in double figures with 19 points.
Arellano went up to 4-1 in Group A of the tournament while San Sebastian fell to 2-3.
For the Saturday, May 21 Filoil Flying V Premier Cup matches, UP takes on Emilio Aguinaldo College at 11:15 while Adamson clashes with Mapua at 1:30pm. Letran battles UE at 3:15 while San Beda and La Salle clash in the nightcap at 5pm.