Arellano continued to catch up in the final four race, overcoming a sluggish third quarter to defeat shorthanded Emilio Aguinaldo College, 78-70, in the 87th NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the Fil Oil-Flying V Arena.
Andrian Celada scored nine points in the fourth quarter even as the Generals didn’t score a point in the first six minutes in the said period, as the Chiefs registered their third win in the last four games.
The Legarda-based squad improved its win-loss record to 4-7 to tie College of Saint Benilde.
It was a vengeful triumph for the Chiefs, who suffered an 84-77 defeat at the hands of the Generals in the first round on July 4.
“Sabi ko lang sa mga player e may utang sa atin ang EAC dahil naagawan kami ng panalo nung first round. Buti naman at nagrespond sila,” said coach Leo Isaac.
Celada finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and three assists while Mark Doligon added 14 points, four rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
Verge Zulueta also had 14 points aside from two rebounds, two assists and three steals while Rocky Acidre turned in 10 points.
Center Jerald Lapuz registered 10 points and 12 rebounds, a day after getting drafted by the Petron Blaze Boosters as the 24th overall pick in the 2011 PBA Rookie Draft.
Arellano controlled the first half to take a 43-31 lead but EAC mounted a big rally behind unheralded newcomer Remy Morada.
Morada was in the zone in the third quarter, scoring 17 points including a three-pointer that put the Generals ahead, 60-58, entering the fourth period.
But Celada uncorked two consecutive jumpers to put Arellano back in the lead. The Generals never threatened the Chiefs after those basket.
Morada finished with a career-high 28 points, five rebounds and three assists for EAC, while Claude Cubo had 11 points and 10 rebounds in his first game back after serving a one-game suspension.
Team’s leading scorer Jan Jamon scored 11 points, but the Generals’ record fell to 3-8.
EAC was missing several players. Joshua Torralba was in uniform but didn’t play because of an injury. Also absent were Milan Vargas, Igee King and Franz Chiong.
ARELLANO 78 – Celada 23, Doligon 14, Zulueta 14, Acidre 12, Lapuz 10, Pagayunan 2, Salcedo 2, Casino 1, del Rosario 0, Palma 0.
EAC 70 – Morada 28, Cubo 11, Jamon 11, Paguia 9, Yaya 5, Sanchez 4, Villegas 2, Diolanto 0, Juliano 0.
Quarters: 21-10; 43-31; 58-60; 78-70