JM Calma and Allyn Bulanadi took charge late as the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Golden Stags weathered a late-game surge by the Arellano University Chiefs to take an 85-79 victory in the NCAA Season 95, Friday evening at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Despite coming out with the win, the Stags had to dig deep as Arellano fought back from 13 points down to send the game down the wire.
“Tendency talaga yan. Basketball eh. Magkakaroon talaga ng run or magkaroon ng momentum, and the sad part about it is ang nangyari, gusto na rin agad makabawi ng shoot. I just let them go back to the right approach, which is to play defense,” said San Sebastian head coach Egay Macaraya.
Down by 13 points in the final frame, Justin Arana mustered all his strength. He lifted his team back up, scoring eight points in an 18-5 run to trim the Stags’ lead to just one, 78-79.
With 33 seconds left, JM Calma then drove hard to the basket to give his side an 81-78 advantage. Calma, however, fouled Arana in the ensuing play.
Arana only took one from the line, but was able to grab the offensive rebound. Kent Salado, however, botched a three-point attempt. He then fouled Allyn Bulanadi on the other end, which spelled the fate of Arellano.
Calma and Bulanadi exploded for 39 points combined. The former also tallied 17 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists, while the latter collected 22 markers along with seven boards and two steals.
With the victory, San Sebastian ended the first round with a four-game winning streak. They have created a four-way tie from two to six in the standings with St. Benilde, Lyceum, and Letran.
RK Ilagan chipped in 12 markers and four assists. Alex Desoyo stepped-up for the injured Arjan Dela Cruz and had eight points and three rebounds. Dela Cruz had to be carried off the floor as he injured his knee in the third quarter.
On the other hand, Arana – who already registered four fouls in the first half – spearheaded the Chiefs with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Meanwhile, Salado contributed 13 markers to go along with six assists and a steal.
Arellano closed the round with a 2-7 slate.
SSC-R 85 — Bulanadi 22, Calma 17, Ilagan 12, Desoyo 8, Capobres 6, Cosari 5, Villapando 4, Tero 3, Dela Cruz 2, Sumoda 2, Isidro 2, Calahat 2, Altamirano 0.
AU 79 — Salado 13, Arana 13, Bayla 12, Sablan 9, Oliva 9, Talampas 5, Gayosa 5, Sacramento 5, Concepcion 4, Espiritu 2, De Guzman 2, Alcoriza 0, Segura 0, Sunga 0.
Quarterscores: 24-20, 49-37, 64-54, 85-79.