The Bleachers


Justin Arana leads from the front to ensure Arellano their spot in the play-in of the NCAA Season 97 seniors basketball competition with a 65-62 victory over Jose Rizal University on Wednesday at La Salle Greenhills.

/ 28 April 2022

The 6-foot-7 center found his touch with 18 points and a career-high 29 rebounds, to lead the Chiefs to the play-in round with a 4-5 card.

Down 53-46, the Heavy Bombers rallied in the payoff period, igniting a 9-4 run that trimmed the deficit down to just two, 57-55, before Hommer Macatangay tied the game at 57.

The Chiefs responded with a Kobe Caballero jumper that gave Arellano a 63-62 lead, before Arana canned two pressure-packed free throws to extend the lead to three with 37.8 seconds left.

Heavy Bomber Jason Celis had the chance to tie the game but missed a potential game-tying three that sealed the win for the Chiefs.

Axel Doromal contributed with 13 points, two boards, and two dimes, while Gelo Sablan added 11 points, four rebounds, and two steals in the win.

EJ Agbong paced JRU, who ended its campaign with a 1-8 slate, with 16 points while Marwin Dionisio logged 10 markers.

Arellano will now await the winner of the Perpetual Help-EAC game on Friday to see who they will face in the first phase of the play-in tourney.

The Scores:

ARELLANO 65 – Arana 18, Doromal 13, Sablan 11, Sta. Ana 7, Oliva 6, Concepcion 3, Valencia 2, Caballero 2, Carandang 2, Cruz 1, Steinl 0.

JRU 62 – Agbong 16, Dionisio 11, Macatangay 9, Delos Santos 8, Arenal 7, Celis 7, Guiab 4, Jungco 0, Bongay 0, Aguado 0, Estrella 0, Aguilar 0, C. Gonzales 0, dela Rama 0.

Quarters: 20-17, 34-28, 53-46, 65-62.