MANILA — Arellano University evened up with first round tormentor Lyceum of the Philippines University via a 77-63 victory on Wednesday, keeping in the process its Final Four hopes alive in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.
The Chiefs went down fighting to the Pirates, 80-82, last October 11, as the Legarda-based cagers lost steam on the final stretch of the game.
But this time, Arellano coach Cholo Martin made sure that there will be no meltdowns, using a big 31-point third quarter to improve to 5-6 record.
“May two games kami, yung Letran and yung previous meeting namin sa LPU. Yung third quarter and fourth quarter, suddenly nagko-collapse. Sabi ko hindi na puwedeng mangyari iyan,” said Martin. “So, sa practice, pukpukan na.”
The Pirates dropped to 8-4, now trailing the Knights (9-3) by a game in the race for the No. 2 ranking in the Final Four.
Cade Flores was solid for the Chiefs with a career-high 23 points, 12 rebounds and season-best seven steals, while Axel Doromal chipped in 18 points, five boards and five assists.
JM Bravo and Renz Villegas led LPU with 12 points apiece. The Pirates’ leading scorer Mac Guadaña could only muster two points on a 1-of-8 shooting, way beyond his 12.82-point average this season.
The scores: Arellano (77) -- Flores 23, Doromal 18, Talampas 9, Menina 8, Mallari 6, Tolentino 6, Domingo 2, Abastillas 2, Sunga 2, Oliva 1, Mantua 0, Oftana 0. LPU (63) -- Bravo 12, Villegas 12, Barba 9, Valdez 9, Navarro 4, Umali 4, Larupay 3, Montaño 3, Vinoya 3, Cunanan 2, Guadaña 2, Aviles 0, Caduyac 0, Culanay 0. Quarterscores: 20-21, 33-34, 64-48, 77-63 (ai/mtvn)
Arellano U’s Cade Flores finds himself in a tight fix, no way up for an easy layup with
LPU’s Danielle Mallari (17) and Shawn Um (23) ably guarding him.