With Kent Salado out due to a slight MCL tear on his right knee, the Arellano University Chiefs used this as motivation, romping the also-ran University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas, 62-52, Thursday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
“Sinabi ko naman sa kanila, with or without Kent, we’ll play and do our best. Let’s offer this to Kent and try to make it to the whole playoffs,” shared Arellano head coach Jerry Codinera.
Lervin Flores was the Chiefs’ anchor in the win, providing 19 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks. But it was the spark provided by Rence Alcoriza that ignited the Chiefs in their game-breaking third quarter run.
“Malungkot po talaga pag wala si Salado, iba pag nandiyan siya,” shared Alcoriza, who finished with 18 points and seven rebounds off the bench. “Pero ginawa na lang namin ang lahat ng ginawa namin para magawa yung ginagawa ni Salado.”
With Arellano clinging to a 23-22 lead midway through the second quarter, the Chiefs’ defense shackled the Altas while going on a 44-25 lead.
Alcoriza scored eight points during the run, while Levi Dela Cruz and Kraniel Villoria provided additional buckets.
Dela Cruz finished with 11 points.
“Mas lalo kaming ginanahan. Main man namin si Salado kaya kailangan namin mag step-up,” Dela Cruz added.
Arellano kept their playoff hopes alive with the win, as the Chiefs now sport an 8-9 slate. Perpetual, on the other hand, dropped their sixth straight game to fall to 4-12.
AJ Coronel led Perpetual in the scoring department with 14 points. Prince Eze added 11 points, 22 rebounds, and four blocks.
Arellano will face the Mapua Cardinals in their final assignment of the season on Tuesday, October 17, at 2:00pm. Perpetual take on the EAC Generals on the same day at 12:00nn.
AU 62 – Flores 19, Alcoriza 16, Dela Cruz 11, Canete 6, Nicholls 5, Villoria 4, Meca 1, Enriquez 0, Abanes 0, Ongolo Ongolo 0, Taywan 0, Concepcion 0, Padilla 0
UPHSD 52 – Coronel 14, Eze 11, Lucente 10, Pido 8, Dagangon 6, Ylagan 3, Tamayo 0, Casas 0, Clemente 0, Yuhico 0, Mangalino 0, Sadiwa 0
Quarterscores: 14-17, 29-23, 48-34, 62-52.