Chiefs stun champion Red Lions

Games Tuesday
(The Arena in San Juan)
8 a.m. San Sebastian vs JRU (jrs)
10 a.m. EAC-ICA vs Mapua (jrs)
12 San Sebastan vs JRU(srs)
2 p.m. EAC vs Mapua (srs)
4 p.m. Perpetual Help vs Letran (srs)
6 p.m. Perpetual Help vs Letran (jrs)

THE Arellano Chiefs were on fire from start to finish, stunning the defending champion San Beda Red Lions, 91-72, yesterday to keep their Final Four semifinal hopes flickering in the 91st National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament at the Arena in San Juan.

Jiovani Jalalon shot 11 of his game-high 25 points in the first period, allowing the Chiefs to grab a 27-18 lead they kept at manageable levels until the end.

The Red Lions, who were forced to 11 of 24 turnovers in the first half, dropped to second with their 12-5 record, their worst performance in a decade.

They are still in contention though for the no. 2 seeding in the Final Four after falling behind the Letran Knights (12-4), with still a game left in their second-round schedule.

Olaide Adeogun banged in 17 points and was held to four in the final period by the Chief, who improved to 11-6 in a share of third place with the University of Perpetual Help Altas.

 “Ang bigat nito, coming from back-to-back losses. I’m happy their character is different in this game. Hindi sila na-dishearten sa dalawang sunod na talo,” said Chiefs’ coach Jerry Codinera after they bounced back from losses to Mapua and Letran.

The Chiefs held Arthur de la Cruz to just two points as they went on to grab a 78-58 spread in the last 6:43 off Jalalon’s two charities.

Meanwhile, the College of St. Benilde Blazers leaned on the heroics of Jonathan Grey in the closing minutes to turn back the Lyceum Pirates, 59-56, and hike their record to sixth at 5-12.

Grey, who had 13 points, scored on a drive to hand the Blazers a seven-point cushion, 59-52.

The Pirates refused to give up, tying the count at 55-59 on a putback from Joseph Gabayni, and a charity from Shaq Alanes.

Alanes was actually awarded three freebies in the last 6.2 seconds off an unsportsmanlike foul by John Domingo and on a technical called on coach Gabby Velasco for contesting the call, but time wasn’t on their side.

“We still have to improve. We need to develop our game. This is for our future games,” said Blazers coach Gabby Velasco.

The Pirates finished their campaign with a 14-4 slate.

In the junior division, Eduardo Velasquez hit a triple with 30. 4 seconds left, sending the defending champion San Bed Cubs to an 81-76 beating of the Arellano University Braves.

This gave the Red Cubs their 17th straight win, moving them  a victory closer to an 18-game sweep and a possible automatic final slot.

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