Andrian Celada showed consistency on offense and Arellano posted its first pair of back-to-back wins of the 87th NCAA men’s basketball tournament with a 71-65 defeat of Perpetual Help at the Fil Oil-Flying V Arena.
Celada, playing in his final year, had 23 points, three rebounds and two blocks while shooting 7-of-14 from the field as the Chiefs finished the first round with a 3-6 win-loss record.
The Legarda-based squad forged a three-way tie for seventh to ninth places with Mapua and Emilio Aguinaldo College.
Vergel Zulueta added 17 points while burly Jerald Lapuz came away with seven points, 14 rebounds and five assists to the satisfaction of coach Leo Isaac.
“I told my players that a win would multiply our confidence and this win is a good way to enter the second round with high hopes,” said Isaac.
Prior to the streak, the Chiefs suffered a five-game slide before defeating College of Saint Benilde, 64-60, on Friday.
This time, Celada didn’t play on-and-off as he did in previous games.
He had 10 third quarter points before adding seven points in the fourth quarter to help the Chiefs prevent the Altas, led by Jet Vidal and Justine Alano, from pulling closer.
“I feel sad for him because it’s his last playing year and he has the skills and the potential,” Isaac said of Celada, whom he has been coaching since 2007. “I hope he realizes that he’s got a promising future because he has a dream of eventually playing in the PBA.”
Vidal had 13 points, four rebounds and three steals while Alano added 13 points and four boards but Perpetual ended the first round with a 1-8 record.
The Altas, who also drew 10 points and eight boards from Anthony Paulino, lost their fourth straight.
Perpetual played sans George Allen, who re-injured his ankle in Monday’s 65-63 loss to Mapua.
ARELLANO 71 – Celada 23, Zulueta 17, Acidre 8, Doligon 8, Lapuz 7, Caperal 4, Palma 2, Casino 2, Okpe 0.
PERPETUAL 65 – Vidal 13, Alano 13, Paulino 10, Arboleda 8, Asuncion 7, Elopre 6, Sumera 4, Sison 4, Thompson 0, Parico 0.
Quarters: 13-10; 33-29; 55-47; 71-65.
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