MANILA - Arellano University relied on its free throws and made crucial stops in crunch time to outlast Mapua, 68-63, and gain a share of third place with San Sebastian in the 90th NCAA basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City on Friday.
Ralph Salcedo and American Dioncee Holts sank four throws and the Chiefs put a defensive lead on the Cardinals to nail Arellano’s third win in four outings.
The win came after Arellano U’s 90-81 loss at the hands of four-peat champion San Beda a week ago.
Kieth Agovida paced the Chiefs with 12 points while Salcedo, Holts and John Pinto chipped in 10 apiece.
The Cardinals fell to their fifth straight defeat but should find consolation that their last two setbacks were close contests compared to their first three blowout defeats.
Meanwhile, NCAA Management Committee chair Paul Supan of host Jose Rizal announced there will be no game on Saturday to give way to the FIBA 3x3 that Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is hosting.
"Just like last year when the league gave way for the FIBA-Asia Championship our country hosted, we have done the same for flag and country," said Supan.
Earlier, the Red Robins overcame a sluggish start to rally from an early double-digit deficit and turn back the Junior Chiefs, 71-64, to improve to a 3-2 card.
Arellano 68 -- Agovida 12, Salcedo 10, Pinto 10, Holts 10, Hernandez 8, Gumaru 7, Jalalon 6, Caperal 4, Ciriacruz 1, Nicholls 0, Bangga 0, Palma 0, Ortega 0, Cadavis 0.
Mapua 63 -- Estrella 20, Gabo 10, Saitanan 9, Isit 8, Magsigay 6, Cantos 6, Layug 3, Canaynay 1, Tubiano 0.
Quarters: 18-20, 32-30, 48-48, 68-63.