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Friday, July 19, 2024

Chiefs stun defending champion Knights

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The Arellano Chiefs banked on a split charity from Axel Doromal to help them to escape with a 72-69 stopping of the defending champion Letran Knights on Sunday in the 98th National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament at the FilOil EcoOil Arena in San Juan.

Doromal’s freebie in the last 15.5 seconds proved the be the final basket of the game as the Chiefs went on to post their third triumph in four games.

The Knights, who rallied from 13 points down, misfired in the remaining time, with King Caralipio and Kurt Reyson bungling their attempts in the last three seconds.

Cade Flores shot a game-high 18 points for the Chiefs, who moved to second behind the solo-leading College of St. Benilde Blazers.

The Chiefs shifted to a stifling zone defense in the second half, and it worked. Its effects were felt in the final canto when they were able to limit the Knights to 13 points.

“Napakasarap maglaro kung ang kalaban mo ay defending champion at malakas na team. Doon lalabas ang laro ng mga player mo,” said Chiefs’ coach Cholo Martin.

Louie Sangalang made 19 points for the Knights, who picked up their first loss in two games.

Doromal scored 14 points for the Chiefs, while William Oftana and Josua Abastillas chipped in 13 and 10 points, respectively.

The Chiefs enjoyed a 70-65 edge off Flores’ split charity in the last 42 seconds, 70-65.

But they lost that edge with Louie Sangalang’s driving shot and Fran Yu’s two free throws with 17.6 to go, 69-71.

Games tomorrow (Filoil EcoOil Centre)
12 noon – Perpetual vs CSB
3 p.m. – LPU vs EAC


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