Arellano punches play-in ticket on Arana’s career game

Arellano rode the broad shoulders of its star big man Justin Arana to survive Jose Rizal University, 65-62, and punch its ticket to the play-in round in the NCAA Season 97 on Wednesday, April 27 at the La Salle Green Hills Gym in Mandaluyong.

Justin Arana finishes with career-best 29 rebounds on top of 18 points and two blocks against JRU

Arana reset his rebounding career-high to a monster 29 boards which also went with 18 points including the two pressure-packed free throws he coolly sank in the final 37 seconds of the game to hand the Chiefs their second-straight win and finish with a 4-5 record in the eliminations.

“Para sa akin ayoko ko talaga matapos yung season ko dito. Gusto ko hanggang Final Four and championship makaabot kami,” said Arana.

“Binigay ko na lang talaga lahat kahit pagod na ako ayoko talaga lumabas, kasi gusto ko talaga dumepensa, rumebound. Especially sa rebound talaga kasi yun talaga yung puhunan namin,” said the 6-foot-5 big man.

He also got ample support from Kalen Doromal who finished with 13 points while Raymart Sablan added 11 markers.

The Chiefs had to earn their spot in the play-in especially against the persistent Heavy Bombers side who put up a gallant stand and climbed back from 10 points down in third quarter before even taking the lead after a Jason Celiz steal and-1 play, 60-58, midway through the fourth.

That basket also capped a 14-3 explosion from JRU as JL Delos Santos and Homer Macatangay showed resolve to try and give their squad a winning finish in the season.

With JRU still holding on to a slim 62-61 lead inside the final two minutes, Kobe Caballero scored on a gutsy drive to retake the lead for the Chiefs before Arana sealed the deal with the two-free throws.

Evan Agbong finished with 16 points while Macatangay added 11 markers as JRU wound up with a 1-8 record and dead-last in the standings.

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

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