MANILA, Philippines-Arellano missed three of its four free throws in the final eight seconds but still managed to get the breaks to preserve a 65-63 victory over San Sebastian Sunday and kickstart its campaign in the NCAA men’s basketball at La Salle Greenhills Gym.
Kalen Doromal made his second charity to give the Chiefs a breather that stayed after the Stags’ guard Alex Desoyo threw a desperation shot from the arc as time expires.
The win was a big boost for Arellano which is hoping for a breakthrough year and repeat its Season 92 performance when it made the finals powered by eventual PBA star Jio Jalalon.
However, the Chiefs lost big man Justin Arana who hurt his right knee after a rebound jostle with less than two minutes left in the games. The 6-foot-5 Arana was wheeled out of the venue, with his knees on splints, after scoring 16 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks..
The Chiefs fell behind by double figures, the last was in the third quarter on Stag Rommel Calahat basket for a 50-36 spread. But through Arana, Jordan Sta. Ana and Raymart Sablan they chipped way the deficit all through the last quarter. Sablan’s three-pointer finally gave Arellano the lead, 62-60, just before Arana hurt his knees.
Jessie Somoda hit a triple in the last 1:37 to give the Stags their last stand but they couldn’t sustain the run despite the Chiefs’ shaky nerves at the charity line.
Sta. Ana wound up with 14 points, while Sebastian Valencia and Sablan added nine and eight, respectively for Arellano.
Altamirano led San Sebastian with 16 points as JM Calma and Kenneth Villapando chipped in 13 and 10 markers, respectively.
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