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Chiefs overcome 17-point hole to stun Altas

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Arellano University leaned on its resiliency as it clawed its way back from a 17-point second quarter deficit to turn back University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, 76-72, to end the first round on a bright note in the 94th NCAA basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

After a faulty start that saw them trailing, 17-34, midway in the second period, the Chiefs turned things around and when they finally caught up at 70-all with a minute and a half to go in the game, they made key stops in the stretch to snatch their fourth win against five defeats, which was good for sixth spot.

The victory also somehow eased the pain of AU’s embarrassing 79-98 rout to reigning titlist San Beda Friday in a game that saw Robert Bolick erupting for 37 second half points and finishing with a career-high 50—the second highest individual scoring feat in a game next to the late Lim Eng Beng’s 55 in 1974.

“Coming from that big 50-point game by Bolick, we were really down and hurt,” said AU coach Jerry Codinera. “Way to bounce back with this down-to-the-wire finish.”

The Altas appeared to have taken control when they mounted that huge 17-point lead that was eventually trimmed down to 38-28 entering the break.

But the Las Pinas-based school’s offense turned sour amid the series of blistering runs unloaded by AU, which was led by Kraniel Villoria’s 15 points and Maui Sera Josef’s 14, to grab the win.

The Altas suffered their first back-to-back defeat under coach Frankie Lim to slid to 5-4 and at fifth spot.

It didn’t help Perpetual Help that they missed the services of Edgard Charcos, their top scorer who was sat out due to a knee injury he suffered in their last game.

The boxscores:

Arellano U 76 — Villoria 15, Sera Josef 14, Dela Cruz 12, Concepcion 10, Canete 9, Alban 8, Dela Torre 6, Codinera 2, Alcoriza 0, Ongolo Ongolo 0, Sacramento 0, Santos 0, Segura 0.

Perpetual Help 72 — Eze 22, Coronel 12, Aurin 10, Peralta 10, Cuevas 8,Canoy 5, Razon 4, Pedrosa 1, Mangalino 0, Tamayo 0.

Quarterscores: 8-19; 28-38; 51-53; 76-72.