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Tiebreaker Times


Arellano drops bombs on Mapua to clinch twice-to-beat incentive

The Arellano University Chiefs went all-out in the final frame, knocking down six three-pointers in the final frame, to turn back the Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals, 95-82, to clinch the all-important twice-to-beat advantage in the next round, Tuesday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

The Chiefs notched their fourth straight win with one game to go, while simultaneously snapping Mapua’s four-game winning streak.

Jio Jalalon notched his season-high with 35 points, knocking down five triples, to go along with five rebounds, five assists, and five steals.

“Sabi nga ni coach, sundin lang namin yung pinapagawa sa amin. Pasalamat din kami na nag-step up si Gumaru,” the Gilas Cadet said.

While Kent Salado produced his usual numbers, 15 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists, Gumaru filled the role of the much-needed third option role for the Chiefs. The fifth-year guard scored 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting from downtown.

“For the past three games, maganda yung nilalaro niya. He was just hesitant during the first round,” Arellano head coach Jerry Codinera shared.

The Cardinals tasted a momentary one-point edge midway through the final frame, 75-74, after a 12-2 rally. However, the Mapua defense forgot to guard Donald Gumaru on the other end.

“Kala ko lalamangan na kami ng malaki, buti na lang si Donald nag-step up,” Jalalon reflected.

Gumaru, who just turned 24 years old, knocked down back-to-back triples in a span of just a minute and two seconds that turned the tides of the game.

After baskets by Lervin Flores and Jalalon, the latter joined the three-point party, knocking down two more triples, while Gumaru, who was 6-of-44 from distance prior to the game, knocked down his fifth three of the game with 1:27 remaining to give Arellano their biggest lead of the game 93-78.

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“Grabe yung offense namin,” an exasperated Codinera said as his team were able to convert on 39 of their 84 attempts while knocking down a total of 13 triples in the game.

“Pero wala e, we hard a hard time guarding Isit and Oraeme. They were there,” Codinera closed. “Basta kami lang, we just have to execute and go to our strengths.”

CJ Isit scored 10 of his 25 points in the third frame to help the Cardinals rally back from a 12-point deficit and turned it into a 56-52 lead late in the quarter. The King Cardinal was supported by Darell Menina who scored seven of his 16 points in the quarter.

Allwell Oraeme finished the game with 13 points and 20 rebounds as well.

The Arellano Chiefs (1st, 14-3) face the San Beda Red Lions (12-4) on Friday, September 23, at 4:00pm in what could be a Finals preview. On the other hand, the Mapua Cardinals (4th, 11-6) take on fellow semifinalists, the Perpetual Altas (3rd, 11-5) on the same day at 3:00pm.

The Scores:

AU (95) – Jalalon 35, Salado 15, Gumaru 15, Cadavis 7, Flores 6, Canete 5, Enriquez 4, Nicholls 3, Meca 3, Villoria 2, Holts 0, Aguilar 0

MIT (82) – Isit 25, Menina 16, Oraeme 13, Eriobu 8, Orquina 7, Raflores 6, Estrella 3, Aguirre 2, Serrano 2, Victoria 0, Bunag 0

Quarterscores: 16-13, 45-35, 67-63, 95-82.

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