Alex Almario came up slightly short at the end of regulation. Nailing a triple with 21.1 seconds left, the JRU floor general gave his squad a 70-68 lead. Vergel Zulueta could not tie the game on the other side, and so the Arellano Chiefs were forced to foul Almario again. He could not seal the game though, getting just a split at the line. Then with time running down, Gerald Lapuz was able to force an extra five minutes, banking in a triple at the buzzer, and also stealing the momentum of the game, as Rocky Acidre and Prince Caperal were able to carry the probationary team to the victory, 79-75. (Recap here)
What's at Stake:
- With the Chiefs at 4-9 and the Bombers at 3-9, it's highly unlikely that either will still make the Final Four, barring any disastrous collapses by the teams on top. With that said, this becomes a battle for pride, as both squads try to regain their form from seasons past.
AU Player to Watch : Okpe had played spot minutes in the three games he was fielded in, prior to the second round Benilde game, but he delivered in the 15 minutes, scoring just two points, but hauling down five rebounds and blocking five shots. He could be a nice match-up for JRU's centers like John Montemayor and Jeckster Apinan.
JRU Player to Watch : After averaging 12.33 points in 28.17 minutes in the first six games, Ronnel Carampil has suddenly been stapled to the bench, norming just 14 minutes in the back six games, including playing a mere five minutes in their loss to San Sebastian. He's also gone scoreless twice in that stretch and hasn't put up more than six points, let alone double-figures.
Prediction: Arellano Chiefs