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NCAA 97: Justin Arana keeps Arellano alive in play-in race

Arellano University snapped its two-game losing streak with a statement 70-55 win over Emilio Aguinaldo College to stay alive in the NCAA Season 97 seniors basketball tournament’s play-in race, Sunday at La Salle Green Hills’ St. Benilde Gym in Mandaluyong City.

The Chiefs forced a quadruple-tie at fifth place with their victims — the Generals, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, and University of Perpetual Help System DALTA.

Arellano held EAC scoreless for almost five minutes in the payoff period before Allen Liwag split his charities and Marwin Taywan drilled a trey to cut the deficit to 10, 53-63, with a little more than two minutes.

The Chiefs, though, sealed the win as Justin Arana scored from inside the paint and Gelo Sablan finally got a triple to go, basically sealing the win with a minute and change left.

“Siyempre, masaya kami dahil sa panalo na to kasi nga kailangang kailangan namin to. Pero focused pa rin kami sa goal namin na yung one game at a time,” said Arana, who finished with 21 points and 18 rebounds in the contest.

“Kailangan naming mag-ready para sa [Jose Rizal University]. Hindi namin sila kailangang basta-bastahin kasi mabibilis sila. Kaya kailangan naming mag-trabaho para mapanalo namin yung last game namin at makapasok kami sa play-in,” said the MVP frontrunner, who added three assists and three blocks.

Arellano will go all-out for that play-in berth against the also-ran JRU (1-7) on April 27 at, still at the LSGH St, Benilde Gym.

Sablan, on his part, ended with 12 markers and seven rebounds to go with three blocks, one assist, and one steal. Meanwhile, Stefan Steinl and Archie Concepcion combined for 16 points and nine rebounds, especially in that second-quarter explosion for the Chiefs.

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Ralph Robin bounced back in this game, but his 13-point, one-rebound, and one-assist performance was not enough to snag the win. Marwin Taywan also came off the bench to chip in 12 markers, seven boards, five assists, and two steals.

EAC will slug it out with Perpetual also a ticket into the play-in tournament on April 29 at 12 NN, at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

The Scores:

Arellano 70 – Arana 21, Sablan 12, Sta. Ana 8, Doromal 8, Steinl 8, Concepcion 8, Oliva 3, Cruz 2, Caballero 0.

EAC 55 – Robin 13, Taywan 12, Maguliano 9, Cosejo 5, Liwag 5, Gurtiza 4, Cadua 3, Luciano 2, Doria 2, Cosa 0, Fuentes 0, Bunyi 0.

Quarterscores: 17-14, 44-30, 55-47, 70-55.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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