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Monday, June 24, 2024

Chiefs stun Pirates for 5th victory

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An outrebounded Arellano University Chiefs still had enough in its arsenal to stun the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates, 77-63, and stay in contention for the Final Four on Wednesday in the 98th National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

Fil-Australian Cade Flores of the Chiefs is met with stiff resistance by the Pirates at the basket.

Fil-Australian Cade Flores knocked in 14 of his game-high and career-high 23 points in the third period as the Chiefs went on to coast to their fifth triumph in 11 outings.

The 6’4”Flores scored on four of the 12 turnovers that the Chiefs forced at the start of the second half.

The 24-year-old Flores unloaded back-to-back baskets during a 7-2 spurt in the last 7:23, allowing them to start turning the tide in their favor, from a 33-34 halftime deficit into a 40-36 lead.

The Pirates managed to take charge in the shaded lanes with 11 rebounds in the third, but the Chiefs were unmoved as they pressed on with their counterattacks, with Flores knocking in two baskets during a 15-0 blast that gave Arellano a 17-point spread, 55-38, with 2:48 to go.

“We got another chance. Maganda ang naging adjustment at correction namin,” said coach Cholo Martin of Chiefs, who fell behind in rebounds, 40 to the Pirates’ 48.

Flores went on to also finish with 12 boards, two assists, and seven steals for the Chiefs.

Axel Doromal shot 18 points for the Chiefs, while Jade Talampas added nine, with his layup off Doromal’s pass keeping Arellano up by 16 in the final 44 seconds, 77-61.

The Pirates stayed in third spot at 8-4.

Martin said the Chiefs had a tendency to collapse on their defense in the fourth and it showed when they lost to the Letran Knights the last time around. But the team managed to make the necessary adjustments against the Pirates this time around.

Meanwhile, Will Gozum struck with a career-high 34 points and hauled eight rebounds to power the solo-leading College of St. Benilde Blazers to a 92-79 demolition of the returning Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers for their ninth triumph in 11 matches.

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