HERE TO STAY. Arellano prevented San Beda from reclaiming a place atop the leaderboard.
San Beda 6-3
San Sebastian 4-5
Arellano High School was getting left behind by the top three teams in the 93rd Season of the NCAA Juniors Basketball Tournament.
The Braves put a stop to all of that on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre, powering through modern-day rival San Beda High School for a 67-60 decision that gets them back on track in the tournament.
Tylon Darjuan’s boys were coming off back-to-back losses heading into the rivalry game and only played with much sense of urgency in this one. “Malaking bagay ‘to sa amin kasi mga nakaraang game, nagtatalo kami,” the relieved head coach said.
Still, it wasn’t until an unusual unforced error by the Red Cubs that Arellano put the finishing touches on its biggest win in the season.
Chasing down a six-point deficit inside the last minute, Sam Abu Hijleh’s basket and bonus pulled San Beda to within three, 60-63.
They then forced a defensive stop to give themselves another chance to get even closer only to see Peter Alfaro inbound to no one in particular. “Gustong-gustong manalo ng mga bata e. Sakto, napunta kay Marlon,” Darjuan said.
Marlon Espiritu then took possession and scored on an easy layup to put the Braves up, 65-60.
Free throws by Aaron Fermin and Espiritu coupled with misses by Evan Nelle and JM Lagumen sealed the deal on Arellano’s return to its winning ways.
In the end, Espiritu had six points, five assists, and four rebounds and served as the closer to what Fred Segura started with his total of 17 points.
Main man Aaron Fermin only had seven points, but was in complete command of the pain with 19 rebounds and one block.
Even though they stand on even ground with Colegio de San Juan de Letran for fourth-place with a 5-4 record, Darjuan is confident that his boys can only build on this big-time win. “Malaking motivation ‘to sa amin na kahit may nawala sa amin, at least alam nilang kaya pa rin nilang manalo,” he said, referring to the losses of Carlo Abadeza and Guillmer dela Torre.
For the Red Cubs, Ain Obenza was the only player in double-digits with 20 points.
With Sam Abu Hijleh, Peter Alfaro, and Evan Nelle only combining for 19 points on 7-for-33 shooting, they failed in their bid to set a three-way tie for first-place.
Nonetheless, San Beda’s 6-3 standing puts them in solo third.
ARELLANO 67 – Segura 17, Camcaho 11, Bataller 10, Fermin 7, Espiritu 6, Camarillo 6, Fornis 6, Domingo 2, Camilosa 2, Tamayo 0, Liangco 0, Velasco 0
SAN BEDA 60 – Obenza 20, Alfaro 8, Velasquez 8, Abu Hijleh 7, Nelle 4, Garcia 3, Etrata 3, Lagumen 2, Dela Rosa 2, Tagala 2, Mahinay 1, Sese 0
QUARTER SCORES: 15-10, 34-29, 45-47, 67-60
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