Aussie, U.S. recruits banner Chiefs

CADE Flores is among the fresh faces that will see action for Arellano in Season 98 of the NCAA. | Photograph COURTESY OF FILOIL ECOIL

Three recruits from Australia and one from the United States will beef up Arellano University in Season 98 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament starting 10 September.

The three from Down Under are Daniel Mallari, Cade Flores and Travis Mantua while Adrian Punzalan is from the US.

The Chiefs are aiming to barge into the Final Four, a feat they came close to achieving the last time when they lost to University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, 59-52, in the play-in tournament.

Arellano head coach Cholo Martin said the four latest additions were acquired in 2020.

“They’re ready to play,” he said, stressing that they all have made the grade for residency requirements.

“The boys have been keeping the ball moving, unlike last season, everybody gets a share of playing time.”

Welcoming them into the fold are veterans Stefan Steinl, Axel Doromal and Sebastian Valencia as Arellano seeks to end a six-year Final Four drought.

These acquisitions came in at a perfect time as Justin Arana, a member of the Mythical and Defensive teams and Defensive Player of the Year top pick, has wound up playing college ball and is now burning the hoops for Converge in the Philippine Basketball Association.

To help him out strategize, Martin tapped former team captain Gelo Sablan as one of his assistants.

“Gelo is in charge of teaching the big men in the team. He knows the system and he can help out with the team,” Martin said.

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