The Arellano Chiefs, coming off a heartbreaking 68-49 loss at the hands of Mapua last week, kicked off their second round campaign with an 85-82 upset win over the JRU Heavy Bombers in Season 88 action of the NCAA at the FilOil-Flying V Arena.
In their first round meeting, the Heavy Bombers won by a mile, 77-65, last June 28. This time around, the Chiefs made it 1-1 against JRU for the season after handing the Heavy Bombers their third loss. Arellano improved to 4-6 while JRU dropped to 7-3.
Rocky Acidre, who has been explosive for the past two games despite consecutive losses, finally tasted another win today with 21 markers across his name. He fired away 13 of his total in the payoff period with a little help from rookie James Forrester, who finished the game with 16.
A pivotal third period had the Arellano Chiefs breaking away from JRU, as they outscored the Heavy Bombers, 28-17. Rocky Acidre, John Pinto and James Forrester chalked up the attack in the third, paving the way for the Chiefs to enjoy their biggest lead of 15, 62-47.
In the fourth, the Chiefs, who only scored three points in the fourth quarter of their last game made up for that measly showing when they poured out 23 huge points today, 13 of which came from Acidre.
JRU, behind Byron Villarias managed to give the Chiefs a scare in the dying seconds when the Bacolod native completed a four-point play off a foul from rookie Julius Cadavis. The Heavy Bombers trailed the Chiefs by just one, 82-83, with 15 ticks left.
With both teams in penalty, Acidre iced two charities for a three-point edge, 85-82 with eight ticks left.
Matute tried to send the game into overtime with an attempt from the three-point area but the all-out defense of Arellano over JRU’s gunner had Matute launching an off attempt.
“This morning, my goal was to stay positive all throughout the game. I wanted to give glory to God and exhalt him. Thank God he helped us sustain the lead in the fourth,” said Arellano coach Koy Banal.
“The loss to Mapua really hit us hard, moreso losing to your son’s team. I read a bible verse this morning and it inspired me coming into this game,” he added.
“Back-to-back games na syang ganito. We’ve talked about this. Kaya off the bench siya and it worked naman,” said Banal of Acidre, the third-year guard from Leyte who had been delivering consistently for the Chiefs in the past few games.
Arellano (85) — Acidre 22, Pinto 16, Forrester 16, Hernandez 9, Zulueta 6, Cadavis 5, Caperal 5, Salcedo 4, Bangga 2.
Jose Rizal (82) — Matute 21, Villarias 17, Mabulac 13, Lopez 10, Almario 7, Diapera 6, Carampil 6, Camasura 2, Salaveria 0, Porter 0, Maconocido 0, Mendoza 0, Dela Paz 0.
Quarterscores: 18-13, 34-34, 62-51, 85-82.