San Sebastian College-Recoletos survived a highly physical game against Arellano University, 71-66, in the NCAA Season 98 Seniors Basketball Tournament at the FilOil EcoOil Centre, Friday in San Juan City.
Up by 68-64, with under a minute left in the game, James Una committed a shot clock violation that led to a turnover. Cade Flores then converted a basket to cut the deficit to two, 66-68, with 24.2 seconds left in the contest.
However, that was the nearest the Chiefs could get.
Ken Villapando drove a layup with 15.8-ticks left to get the 70-66 advantage. After that, Ichie Altamirano elbowed Neil Tolentino with 4.5 left in the game, giving themselves penalty shots.
Raymart Escobido split his freebies to get the 71-66 lead, but Tolentino shot neither of his.
“First thing, I’m very proud of the boys na nalampasan na namin ‘yung consistency na sinasabi. Then wala pa talaga kaming back-to-back na panalo eh. This time, at least, nasubukan na namin,” said San Sebastian head coach Egay Macaraya.
“And, hopefully, this will be a start para dun sa second round kasi sinasabi na, we are in the bottom right now. More or less hindi maganda, hindi maka-abot sa half, so I think malaking booster para sa team,” he added
With Arellano up by three in the first quarter, 14-11, they sparked an 18-3 run to get their biggest lead, 32-14, extending it up to the second quarter capped by a Flores layup at the 6:14 mark. San Sebastian got their first lead, 40-39, off a Desoyo layup at the 7:17 mark of the third canto.
At the end of the third quarter, Flores tackled Desoyo, then kicked him as both players sparked a near scuffle. Before starting the fourth quarter, Chiefs head coach Cholo Martin had an outburst, frustrated by the taunt of Golden Stags assistant coach Melo Banua.
Villapando led San Sebastian with 15 points on a 71.4-percent shooting, along with seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block. Desoyo and Altamirano both got 12 points apiece, with the former adding five assists and a steal, while the latter contributed four assists, a rebound, and a steal.
Rommel Calahat topped the boards with 10 to go with two points.
Shane Menina did not suit up for the game due to back pain.
On the other hand, Travis Mantua starred for Arellano with 15 points with 5-of-11 attempts from the field, to go with two rebounds and two steals. Meanwhile, Axel Doromal scored 13 markers, two boards, and three assists.
The Golden Stags hiked their record to 5-6 with back-to-back wins. Conversely, the Chiefs dropped to their second loss at 5-8.
Both games will return on Sunday, with San Sebastian facing San Beda University at 12:00 NN. On the other hand, Arellano will take on Jose Rizal University later that day.
San Sebastian 71 — Villapando 15, Desoyo 12, Altamirano 12, Yambing 7, Are 7, Shanoda 4, Una 3, Escobido 3, Aguilar 3, Calahat 2, Suico 2, Concha 1, Cosari 0.
Arellano 66 — Mantua 15, Doromal 13, Flores 8, Talampas 8, Tolentino 8, Mallari 5, Domingo 3, Oliva 2, Abastillas 2, Ongotan 2, Oftana 0, Sunga 0, Tan 0.
Quarterscores: 14-23, 33-37, 49-48, 71-66.