NCAA 95 Preview: Arellano Chiefs
NCAA 95 Preview: Arellano Chiefs
Rick Olivares ( - July 4, 2019 - 10:07am

Key losses: Levi Dela Cruz, Brylle Meca, Aaron Alban, Guilmer dela Torre, Michael Cañete
Key Additions: Justin Arana, Gelo Sablan, Alfren Gayosa, 
Key returnee: Kent Michael Salado

MANILA, Philippines – When I look at the Arellano University chiefs this season, I think they have a bit more scoring up front (but still not at the center position) and not enough from the guards.

In the last five seasons, the play of their guards carried them. 

There are fewer options with the sudden departure (or removal depending on who you talk to) of Levi Dela Cruz, Guilmer Dela Torre and Aaron Alban, who were scorching for the Chiefs last year.

They do have Kent Salado back, but he doesn’t seem to be the same when we saw him from two years ago when they still had Donald Gumaru and Jio Jalalon. Salado says that he is learning to play with his new teammates and that accounts for his lack of assertiveness at times. They hope than Daniel Bayla and Rence Alcoriza will provide that outside shooting, playmaking and creativity. If they can create in the manner that Salado does, it will help the chiefs as there aren’t many who can manufacture their own shot.

What they do have for the first time in two years is a dependable workhorse in UST transferee Justin Arana. If Ronan Santos finds his old confidence back, then that will be two upfront who can help.

Alfren Gayosa has done a rigodon of schools. The former San Sebastian Staglet played for UST for a year, went back to San Sebastian then is now with AU. This is your last stand in college, son. Time to make it count.

Gayosa is a two-way player who can make an impact, and he sure did during the summer. 

Archie Concepcion can approximate Michael Cañete if he wishes to. He has shown those flashes of potential over the past three seasons. This is year to shine because he can slide from the two to the three and even the four spot although that is already a stretch and is asking too much.

It is a shame they never fully developed Eli Ongolo Ongolo. What a waste. That is on the coaching staffs past and present.

Lost in all the shuffle is Maui Sera Josef, who Cholo Martin cannot seem to understand. This kid has game but under the new coach, seems lost. What can he do with three minutes per game? I am almost tempted to say, “What a waste!”

Sera Josef’s misfortune is Gelo Sablan’s gain. Sablan is also a welcome addition after leaving UST. He isn’t going to put up a ton of stats, but he has to be steady and providing quality minutes because he does rack up a lot of minutes.

Like most of all the players on this time where they go will depend on their consistency. They aren’t expected to contend, but if they all click, they can make things pretty interesting.

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