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Jalalon leads Arellano past San Beda in Finals rematch

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In a rematch of Season 90’s finals, the Arellano University Chiefs, led by floor general Jio Jalalon, took a torn of their backs as they defeated the San Beda College Red Lions, 88-84 in the last game before the NCAA enters the all-star break at the Filoil Flying V Arena on Tuesday night.

Good ball movement enabled San Beda to push the ball in their interior frontcourt and score the game’s opening baskets. However, the Chiefs were answering with their own buckets as the teams raced to a 10-9 start in a good exchange nearly four minutes into the match. Arellano created separation scoring-wise with Jiovanni Jalalon anchoring their patented transition game and score seven out of the 15-4 scoring run at one point and eventually end the first ten minutes of action up by double digits.

As Arellano’s shooters started to find their mark in the second quarter, the Chiefs maintained the hold of their lead against the Red Lions. San Beda had a hard time breaking the six-point barrier in the opening minutes of the second canto with the Chiefs playing the passing lanes and converting them into points in their favor.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Jalalon leads Arellano past San Beda in Finals rematch    The game also raised its physical intensity as Ola Adeogun got frustrated with a call after a scuffle for the ball. The Red Lion behemoth then smashed their door of their locker room in dismay to the call during halftime. Fortunately for the defending champions, they were able to hold Arellano scoreless in the last three minutes of the first half and claw back to within four entering the break.

The Red Lions carried the momentum from the strong stretch as they ended the first half with a 13-3 run to open up the third quarter. During the spurt, Arellano started to go cold from distance while the frontcourt duo of Donald Tankoua and Art Dela Cruz bullied their defenders underneath for the inside buckets. Meanwhile, last year’s bridesmaid finishers scored 14 quiet points and had no answer in the Red Lions’ surge to end the third canto.

From the first possession of the last quarter, Arellano stepped on the gas pedal and took over the game with their running attack and frenetic defense. Six straight points on two treys by Nicholls and Salado transferred the momentum to their squad and build on the pace in their favor. After a while, the game suddenly turned into a shootout with the team’s gunslingers starting to catch fire late in the match.

Despite Radge Tongco burying his own shots from deep, Jalalon led the charge to answer every rally made by San Beda as Arellano led by six, 77-71 with about four minutes left in the match. They extended it once again to double digits with Allen Enriquez scoring on a good hard cut for a basket.

However, the defending champs fought back and made the game interesting with eight straight points while also forcing the Chiefs to a turnover with less than a minute to go. Dioncee Holts then caught a crucial steal and made the necessary free throws to make it a two-possession game. Tongco buried another late triple but came too late with Holts icing the game with his free throws.

Prior to the game, Jerry Condinera told his team that this was going to be a tough game. “You have to sacrifice your bodies especially against Ola [Adeogun] and [Pierre] Tankoua.” Looking back, however, the coach confessed that last year’s loss in the finals did not hurt for him compared to the heartbreak experienced by his players.

Jio Jalalon also added that his team told him that he should be more assertive on offense. “Pag nagsasag-off ang kalaban, sabi nila sa akin dapat tirahin ko,” he said regarding his game-breaking back-to-back triples late in the fourth quarter.

Smart Elite ambassador Jio Jalalon had a tremendous outing in scoring 22 points, grabbing six rebounds, dishing out eight assists, and stealing the ball four times. Jalalon also shot 9/17 from the field and was 3/4 from downtown. American student-athlete Dioncee Holts also had a great outing in scoring 21 points, grabbing 11 boards, and had a season-high five steals.

For the defending champions, Cameroonian student-athlete Pierre Tankoua stepped up for a dismal outing by Ola Adeogun in putting up 20 markers and had 12 boards. Dan Sara complimented the effort in scoring 16 poitns and was four of seven from rainbow distance.

As a team, Arellano shot 50% from the field compared to San Beda’s 44%. Moreover, the Chiefs outrebounded the taller defending champions by a margin of 13, 50-37.

The Red Lions finish the first round second in the standings with a 7-2 slate while the Chiefs climb up to 6-3, which is good for fourth.

The Scores:
AU (88) – Jalalon 22, Holts 21, Salado 14, Enrqiuez 12, Nicholls 6, Gumaru 5, Cadavis 4, Bangga 2, Tano 2, Capara 0, Meca 0, Ortega 0, Zamora 0.
SBC (84) – Tankoua 20, Sara 16, Dela Cruz 11, Adeogun 10, Koga 8, Tongco 6, Mocon 4, Soberano 3, Reyes 2, Presbitero 2, Solera 2, Cabanag 0, Bonsubre 0.
Quarterscores: 30-20, 41-37, 55-61, 88-84.

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