Arellano showed steely nerves and staved off Emilio Aguinaldo College, 63-58, to become the first team to barge in the win column in the NCAA Season 98 Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Sans the reinforcement in the paint provided by Justin Arana, the Chiefs pulled through in the payoff period behind the efforts of Shane Menina, Axel Doromal, and Neil Tolentino.
Menina led all scorers with 15 points, including clutch free throws down the stretch, along with five rebounds while Doromal and Tolentino chalked up 13 and 10 points each.
“Everybody has to do something. In the last minute, trabaho lang sila nang trabaho and I’m happy for that,” said Arellano head coach Cholo Martin.
Ralph Robin pumped life for the gutsy Generals, who only led by two points, 35-33, after the first half, late in the fourth quarter after sinking a three-points to put the match within striking distance and trail at 59-58.
Menina, however, went for the heroics and fired two free throws with 11 seconds left before Robin’s next attempt from beyond the arc missed.
Doromal secured the board and iced the game with a pair of free throws of his own with 5.1 ticks remaining which enabled the Chiefs to secure their first win.
The Generals, for their part, fell to an early 0-1 record.
Cade Flores also contributed nine points and 13 rebounds, filling pretty much the void left by Arana as Arellano’s big man.
Allen Liwag paced the Generals with 12 points and 13 rebounds while Nat Cosejo chipped in 10 points and six rebounds.
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