Chiefs spoil Stags' preseason title bid, hand championship to Bulldogs

Jan Dizon/NCAA (file photo)
By Miggy Yabut

SAN JUAN, MM--The Arellano Chiefs escaped the San Sebastian Golden Stags, 116-113, in the final game of the Philippines-Australia Goodwill Basketball Invitational at the FilOil Flying V Arena on Saturday night.

The Chiefs led the Stags in the first quarter, 31-25, but Jamil Ortouste led a comeback to give the Stags a 48-46 advantage at halftime.

Zach Nichols had an 18-point barrage in the second half, all coming from beyond the arc, to reclaim the lead for Arellano and even widen the gap to 14, 90-76.

San Sebastian tried to bounce back in the fourth quarter as the team came to within one with only a few seconds left.

But Jio Jalalon iced the game with two free throws with 0.8 seconds left as San Sebastian failed to convert a potential game-tying three-pointer at the final horn.

Nichols led all scorers with 31 points, Dioncee Holts chipped in 26 points and Jalalon contributed 19 points for the Chiefs.

Jamil Ortouste has 26 points for the Stags in a losing effort that effectively gave the championship of the said preseason tournament to the NU Bulldogs. The Bulldogs crushed the Perth Sharks in an earlier match on Saturday, 82-58.

NU and Arellano actualy finished the tournament tied at first place with identical 4-1 records, but with the championship resolved by the quotient system and NU owned the tiebreaker against Arellano by virtue of a 73-53 win, NU clinched the championship. San Sebastian could have won the championship with a victory as it owned the tiebreaker against NU with a 57-56 win on Tuesday.