Jalalon goes clutch as Arellano earns shot at Final Four against EAC

Ric Arlos

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM—With EAC threatening to pull an upset on Tuesday, Arellano banked on its ace.

Jio Jalalon scored the Chiefs' last nine points to help them escape the Generals, 98-90, in their NCAA clash at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

Arellano led by as much as 20, 70-50, late in the third quarter as the team played fluid basketball for majority of the match.

But Sidney Onwubere led EAC's comeback bid that cut the lead to three, 89-86, with 3:39 left in the game.

Back-to-back baskets by Jalalon stretched the Chiefs' lead back to seven with 2:19 to go.

But Hamadou Laminou made an inside shot, and Onwubere added a layup to cancel the Jalalon points and bring the Generals to within three anew, 90-93, with 55.8 seconds remaining.

They appeared to have another crack to draw closer when Jalalon muffed two crucial free throws with 38.7 ticks left, but the Chiefs retained possession after a double lane violation was called and he made up for the misses by converting a quick runner with 33.2 seconds left.

He also made a crucial steal off the inbound and converted a charity with 29 seconds to go for a 96-90 cushion.

Kent Salado forced another EAC inbound error, and his steal led to Jalalon dagger.

Jalalon's late swing capped an impressive triple-double game for him as he finished with 31 points, ten rebounds, and ten assists to lead Arellano, which is now assured of at least a playoff for a Final Four spot.

Onwubere, on the other hand, steered EAC, which now lost ten straight, with 24 markers, nine boards, and one dime.

Box Scores:

Arellano 98-Jalalon 31, Nicholls 15, Enriquez 11, Salado 11, Gumaru 8, Meca 7, Holts 4, Cadavis 4, De Guzman 3, Bangga 2, Tano 2, Zamora 0, Ortega 0, Ongolo 0

EAC 90-Onwubere 24, Laminou 20, Munsayac 15, Mejos 13, General 8, Diego 5, Bonleon 5, Pascual 0, Corilla 0, Estacio 0

Quarterscores: 26-16, 52-38, 74-61, 98-90

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