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AU

Gumaru performs 4th quarter heist as Chiefs take down Stags


Without ace guard Jio Jalalon, the Arellano University Chiefs relied on the end-game heroics of senior Donald Gumaru to defeat the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Golden Stags in a fourth quarter heist, 80-78, Friday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

Kent Salado led the Chiefs with 18 points on 7 for 14 shooting and nine assists in the win. Donald Gumaru added 16 points with four triples.

With Jalalon out of the game due to National duties, the Chiefs offense looked stagnant to open the game. The Stags were able to exploit this in forcing 12 first half turnovers that led to 13 turnover points. Moreover, Michael Calisaan led San Sebastian in scoring 15 points while all but two players from the Stags scored in the first half to give their team a game-high 52-35 lead to enter the second half.

“I don’t like this kind of situation, yung naghahabol kami,” Arellano head coach Jerry Condinera said about their first half. “Nag-aadjust pa sila sa calls ng referees tapos magrereklamo pa sa calls. Sabi ko na lang ‘wala tayo magagawa.'”

Adjusting to the calls, the Chiefs were able to limit their opponents to 12 third quarter points in the third frame. Slowly, the troika of Kent Salado, Brylle Meca, and Allen Enriquez were able to cut the lead to just three 61-58 in the waning minutes of the third frame. A Ryan Costelo triple halted the rally but a buzzer-beating layup by Enriquez cut the deficit to just four, 64-60, entering the final frame.

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“Iba talaga. You can see players who are careless but nandun din yung maturity,” Condinera said about his team’s sense of urgency. “Even if blue-chip rookie ka, you have to play smart. Knowing coach Egay, you have to play smart basketball.”

The Stags were able to gain a 73-66 lead with 3:22 remaining largely in part to Arellano entering the penalty zone early. Just as the Stags were about to breakaway, transferee Lervin Raflores made the crucial plays on the defensive end that turned the tides of the game.

“Maganda yung pag-substitute para sa kanya,” Condinera shared about the former Angeles University Foundation big man. “Sabi ko sa kanila, ‘know your roles. Don’t look at the quantity, just the quality.'”

A basket by Raflores cut the lead to just five with 3:22 left while a block by the big man against Justine Mercado led to a breakaway layup by Donald Gumaru. A floater by Alvin Capobres followed but Salado was able to find Gumaru for a triple to cut the lead to just two, 73-75, with 2:24 remaining.

Another block by Raflores against Mercado led to Salado finding Gumaru once again for another triple to give Arellano their first lead of the game. However, Gumaru fouled Regile Ilagan on a three-point attempt but the rookie converted on just two to knot the game. With 1:09 remaining, Gumaru connected on his fourth triple of the game for a 79-77 lead. A split by Alfren Gayosa from the stripe and a miss by Fabian spelled the doom for Baste as Arellano took home the win.

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“Nasa isip ko lang na kapag may teamwork, magagawa namin lahat,” Gumaru, who scored 11 straight points in the final quarter, said. “Nagkamali man kami nung una, nakabawi naman kami sa second half sa pamamagitan ng defense. Sabi nga ni coach, ‘defense muna bago offense.'”

Calisaan led Baste with 19 points. Fabian and Costelo added eight markers each in the loss.

Even in shooting just 43% from the field and attempting just 12 free throws in the contest, the Chiefs were able to run past their opponents for 21 fastbreak points. Moreover, they were able to convert on three more triples compared to their opponents that proved to be the difference.

The Arellano Chiefs (A, 4-1) will next face the UP Fighting Maroons on Friday, May 27 at 3:15pm while the San Sebastian Golden Stags (B, 2-3) look to bounce back in facing the Perpetual Altas on the same day at 1:30pm.

The Scores:

AU (80) – Salado 18, Gumaru 16, Meca 10, Enriquez 10, Flores 9, Holts 5, Villoria 4, Cadavis 2, Filart 2, Canete 2, Aguilar 2, Nicholls 0, Rivera 0, Abanes 0, Gupilan 0, Alcoriza 0.

SSC-R (78) – Calisaan 19, Fabian 8, Costelo 7, Gayosa 6, Ilagan 6, Mercado 5, Bulanadi 4, Johnson 4, David 3, Baetiong 2, Serajosef 0, Miguel 0, Quipse 0, Valdez 0.

Quarterscores: 14-24, 35-52, 60-64, 80-78.

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