Arellano slams CSB to keep Final 4 bid alive, Mapua shocks Perpetual

Arellano University leaned on a balanced attack as it shellacked a hapless College of St. Benilde, 95-65 on Thursday to breathe life to its flickering Final Four hopes in the 93d NCAA basketball tournament at the FilOil Arena in San Juan City.

Kent Salado fired a team-best 16 points while dishing out a season-high-tying 11 assists. Although he lacked team support in most of their games before, he can’t say the same this time as several other players provided adequate help.

Zach Nicholls connected on three booming triples to finish with 13 points Lervin Flores, Richard Abanes, Rence Alcoriza and Levi dela Cruz combined for 45 points to power the Chiefs to their sixth win against nine defeats.

The win somehow gave Arellano a realistic chance of gatecrashing into the semifinals.

But that scenario will only happen if Arellano could sweep its three remaining outings against San Sebastian on Oct. 10, Perpetual Help on Oct. 12 and Mapua U on Oct. 20.

At present, Arellano is jostling for Final Four position with Jose Rizal (9-6), Letran (8-7), San Sebastian (7-7) and Emilio Aguinaldo College (6-9) with the top two among the group booking the last two spots in the playoff round.

Lyceum and defending champion San Beda already clinched the first two Final Four spots withtheir 15-0 and 14-1 slate, respectively.

“We’re finding ways to look for other options. We’re still upbeat that we can make it to the Final Four,” said Arellano coach Jerry Codinera.

The Blazers fell to 3-13.

In the second game, Mapua rode Andoy Estrella’s heroics as it downed Perpetual Help, 76-71, to improve to a 3-12 slate.

The Altas slipped to 4-11 to drop out of the Final Four race. 

The scores:

First Game

Arellano U 95- Salado 16, Nicholls 13, Flores 12, Abanes 11, Alcoriza 11, dela Cruz 11, Viloria 8, Canete 4, Enriquez 4, Meca 3, Padilla 2, Concepcion 0, Ongolo Ongolo 0, Taywan 0, Filart 0

St. Benilde 65- Belgica 18, Domingo 14, Naboa 8, Dixon 5, Leutcheu 5, San Juan 4, Johnson 3, Sta. Maria 3, Young 3, Pili 2, Castor 0, Suarez 0, Velasco 0

Quarterscores: 28-16; 47-33; 69-50; 95-65

Second Game

Mapua 76– Estrella 22, Bunag 19, Victoria 14, Aguirre 9, Gabo 6, Raflores 6, Jimenez 0, Nieles 0, Orquina 0, Pelayo 0

Perpetual Help 71- Ylagan 22, Pido 18, Eze 15, Sadiwa 5, Yuhico 5, Lucente 4, Dagangon 2, Clemente 0, Coronel 0, Mangalino 0, Tamayo 0

Quarterscores: 22-17; 38-42; 55-55; 76-71