San Sebastian College sent Arellano University crashing as it booked a 60-51 victory in Season 98 National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament yesterday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
Itchie Altamirano and Rhinwil Yambing engineered a furious third-quarter rally to lead the Stags to their first win that tied them with idle University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, College of Saint Benilde and Mapua University on top of the team standings.
In the second game, San Beda University waxed hot, firing 16 three-pointers en route to an 85-56 win over Emilio Aguinaldo College.
James Kwekuteye scored 15 points and six rebounds as the Red Lions finally got their first victory under rookie head coach Yuri Escueta.
Joshua Tolentino registered 16 markers and five boards for the Generals, who remain winless after two games.
Altamirano came off the bench to fire 10 points, four assists, four rebounds and two steals while Yambing registered seven of his nine points in the telling third-quarter spurt.
The Stags padded the lead to as many as 19 points, 57-38, off a three-pointer by James Una in the final 5:37 of the game.
But the Chiefs refused to quit.
Arellano dropped a 13-0 bomb capped by putback by Joshua Abastillas to trim the lead to within six, 51-57, entering the final 1:45 mark.
Then, Tristan Felebrico nailed a three-point play before watching Shane Menina muffed his three-pointer in the final 1:21 minute to help the Stags seal the victory.
San Sebastian coach Egay Macaraya said it was their defense that helped them win while hoping to have a more balanced scoring now that top gunner JM Calma is already in the Philippine Basketball Association.
“The battle cry of the boys is to play good defense and turn it into offense. We can’t replace JM Calma, but three of our big men stepped up. Jessie Sumoda, Ammar Cosari and Una are at least filling the void left by JM,” Macaraya said.
“I’m satisfied but this is just the first game. We haven’t made a statement yet. I hope we’ll be able to keep playing like this in the season but I’m happy they stepped up, especially in defense and scoring.”
Kenneth Villapando added nine points while Felebrico registered seven markers, three rebounds and an assist for the Stags, who fell short of making the Final Four last season.
Axel Doromal tallied 15 points and three rebounds while Cade Flores flirted for a double-double with 12 markers and nine boards for the Chiefs, who suffered their first loss after an impressive performance against Emilio Aguinaldo College, 63-58, in the opening salvo.
SAN SEBASTIAN (60) — Altamirano 10, Villapando 9, Yambing 9, Felebrico 7, Cosari 6, Una 6, Sumoda 4, Are 3, Shanoda 2, Escobido 2, Desoyo 2, Suico 0.
ARELLANO (51) — Doromal 15, Flores 12, Abastillas 8, Talampas 8, Oliva 2, Mallari 2, Tolentino 2, Sunga 2, Menina 0, Oftana 0, Mantua 0.
QUARTERS: 10-12, 27-27, 50-38, 60-51.
SAN BEDA (85) — Kwekuteye 15, Andrada 13, Ynot 12, Sanchez 9, Cortez 8, Alfaro 7, Cuntapay 6, Visser 6, Bahio 3, Tagala 3, Llarena 3, Cometa 0, Jopia 0, Tagle 0.
EAC (56) — Tolentino 16, Gurtiza 10, Luciano 7, Cosejo 6, Robin 5, Cosa 3, Bajon 3, Maguliano 2, Dominguez 2, Bacud 2, Liwag 0, An. Doria 0, Balowa 0, Ad. Doria 0, Umpad 0.
Quarters: 32-7, 55-17, 73-41, 85-56.
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