Chiefs showcase scoring prowess in win over Altas
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - July 26, 2014 - 6:59pm

Games Monday

(The Arena, San Juan)

12 p.m. – San Beda vs St. Benilde (jrs/srs)

4 p.m. – Mapua vs San Sebastian (srs/jrs)

MANILA, Philippines – Arellano U showed why it's the league's highest scoring team after it overran a Perpetual Help side, 97-85, to cling to second place and right behind unbeaten San Beda in the 90th NCAA basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City Saturday.

Kieth Agovida churned out a team-high 22 points to lead four other teammates with double-digit scores while plucking 10 rebounds as the Chiefs rolled to their third win in row and fifth overall against a single loss, or half a game behind the league-leading Lions, undefeated in five starts.

Nard Pinto, Jiovani Jalalon, Levi Hernandez and Allen Enriquez also came out firing by scattering 19, 16, 14 and 11 points, respectively, in helping Arellano U to its best ever start since joining the country's oldest collegiate league five seasons back.

Most importantly, it pushed the Chiefs closer to their main goal – a first ever Final Four appearance.

"When they took me in as coach, my goal really is to coach the school to its first Final Four stint. Hopefully, this year could be it," said Arellano U coach Jerry Codinera.

Arellano U's total output was the highest score by a team this season, eclipsing the previous high the Chiefs themselves set in a 93-80 bashing of the Lyceum Pirates last June 30.

It also underscored Arellano U's reputation as the league's best scoring squad after coming into this game with a league best 83.6 points a game.

Ironically, the Chiefs have been turned into a scoring machine by a coach who is known as "The Defense Minister" during his 17 seasons in the PBA.

"We also put premium on defense but we try to balance it as much as we can because we have the tools to do so," said Codinera.

Trailing 45-41 after the first half, the Chiefs went on full throttle in the second and outgunned the Perps, 56-40, by taking advantage of the latter's outside misses and turning it into easy fastbreak opportunities.

Perpetual Help was in control of the first half and majority of the third quarter with the prolific triumvirate of Earl Scottie Thompson, Harold Arboleda and Juneric Baloria, who erupted for 25, 24 and 18 points.

But the Altas couldn't find help from anywhere particularly in the third quarter when Arellano U went on attack mode.

Perpetual Help fell to its second straight defeat after winning three straight games to slide to a share of No. 4 with San Sebastian.

Jalalon, a transferee from Informatics, continued to impress with his all-around play, adding seven assists, six rebounds and two steals to his scoring. He also went perfect from the free throw line in 10 attempts, the bulk of which coming in the pivotal stretch of the game.

The scores:

AU 97 – Agovida 22, Pinto 19, Jalalon 16, Hernandez 14, Enriquez 11, Salcedo 4, Holts 4, Ortega 3, Nicholls 2, Gumaru 1, Bangga 1, Ciriacruz 0, Palma 0, Caperal 0

UPHSD 85 – Thompson 25, Arboleda 24, Baloria 18, Jolangcob 7, Alano 5, Oliveria 2, Dizon 2, Lucente 2, Ylagan 0, Bantayan 0, Gallardo 0

Quarterscores: 22-21, 41-45, 68-64, 97-85

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