LYCEUM University Pirates stunned defending champion San Beda Red
Lions with a 70-66 win on Monday in the second playing day of the 89th
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament
at the San Juan Arena in San Juan City.
Aziz Mbomiko and Shane Ko led the Pirates’ surge in the crucial
stretch to pull off the upset, their first victory over the 17-time
champion Red Lions in the oldest collegiate league.
The Pirates joined opening day winner Letran Knights at the top of
the standing with a 1-0 win-loss slate. The Red Lions, seeking their fourth straight championships, dropped to 1-1.
Cameroonian Mbomiko, a rookie, scored on a follow-up while San
Beda’s Kyle Pascual was slapped an offensive foul in the return
play as the Pirates stretched their lead to four points, 31-27. Dexter
Zamora and Shane Ko made it 35-28 for Lyceum at the end of the half.
In Monday’s first game, Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers spoiled the debut of coach Atoy Co, blasting the Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals,83-72.
The Heavy Bombers, who want to end a 41-year title drought, actually squandered an early 12-point lead but regained their bearings in the pivotal period to clinch the win.
Vergel Meneses’ Heavy Bombers started strong, taking a 26-14 lead in the first quarter and kept the upper hand, 43-33. at the half. But the Cardinals recovered and grabbed the
lead 62-60 going into the final quarter.