After four games, the Arellano University Chiefs are starting to show that they have moved on from the sudden resignation of Jerry Codinera.
Friday afternoon, the Chiefs played splendid basketball, connecting at all fronts in an 86-70 rout of the hapless Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
“Hindi namin puwedeng gawing excuse yung nag-aadjust kami. Sinabi ko sa kanila, tapos na yung adjustment period,” said interim head coach Junjie Ablan. “Sabi ko lang sa kanila, just trust the process. Eventually, dahan-dahan lang, hindi minamadali yan. Hindi naman yan tinatanim tapos magbubunga kaagad.”
Besides picking up their first win under Ablan, the Chiefs snapped their five-game losing streak to go up to 5-10. Same could not be said about the Heavy Bombers, who dropped their eighth-straight game to fall to 2-14.
Right from the opening tip, the Chiefs played with an extra gear, starting the game with a 22-3 spurt.
“Yung gameplan namin ginawa talaga ng mga players. Kahit yung small details ginawa nila. They really wanted to win this game,” added Ablan.
Seldomly-used Dariel Bayla and Ian Alban provided the spark in the first half, combining for 14 points. Levi dela Cruz also heated up in the second frame, knocking down three straight triples for nine points.
Arellano would lead by as much as 29 points. And with the game never in doubt, the Arellano students in attendance even performed a wave at the middle of the game.
Dela Cruz led all scorers with 19 points built on five triples. Rence Alcoriza chipped in 11 points while Michael Canete finished with a double-double wih 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Making matters worse was Jed Mendoza only played three minutes as he was poked on the left eye early in the game.
Mark Mallari had 17 points for JRU while Leo Esguerra and JR Aguilar tallied double-doubles.
Arellano will next face the San Beda Red Lions on Thursday, October 11 at 4:00pm while JRU plays its penultimate game of the season on Friday, October 12 against the EAC Generals.
AU 86 – Dela Cruz 19, Alcoriza 11, Canete 10, Dela Torre 10, Bayla 10, Segura 9, Alban 8, Concepcion 4, Sera Josef 3, Ongolo Ongolo 2, Sacramento 0, Codinero 0, Santos 0
JRU 70 – Mallari 17, Esguerra 17, Aguilar 12, Doromal 9, Estrella 4, Santos 4, Miranda 3, Padua 2, Mendoza 2, Bordon 0, Ramos 0, Silvarez 0, David 0, Dela Virgen 0
Quarterscores: 25-7, 48-32, 75-50, 86-70