Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) ignited a late run as it survived San Sebastian College-Recoletos (SSC-R), 78-73, to solidify its hold of the top spot in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 93 basketball tournament on Friday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan City.
Mike Nzeusseu and MJ Ayaay joined forces to pull off a 5-0 rally that pushed Lyceum to a 77-70 lead with 26 seconds remaining. The Pirates remained on top of the standings unscathed in three games.
“That was a tough game. They (San Sebastian) really gave us a run for our money. We’re just happy that we got away with the win,” said Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson, who was the former mentor of San Sebastian.
CJ Perez, a former San Sebastian player, pumped in 20 points and five rebounds but had eight turnovers while team captain Ayaay chipped in 17 markers for Lyceum.
Michael Calisaan sizzled with a game-high 28 points aside from 12 rebounds and Allyn Bulanadi contributed 16 markers for the Golden Stags, who slid to 1-2.
Perez and Wilson Baltazar sparked an 8-0 run to lift the Pirates by as much as 10 points, 36-26, but the Stags retaliated with their own 11-5 rally to keep within striking distance, 39-43, after the first 20 minutes.
Lyceum and San Sebastian exchanged runs in the third period though it was the Intramuros-based squad that came out on top, 63-55, as Ayaay hit a trey.
The Pirates once again built a double-digit advantage, 70-59, on Perez’s triple from the left corner but the pesky Stags went on a blazing 11-2 run to slice the deficit to two, 72-70.
But Nzeusseu used his towering height for a putback and Ayaay sank a clutch three-pointer to give the Lyceum a seven-point lead with 26 ticks left.
Meanwhile, San Beda College (SBC) banked on a strong second half to rout Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC), 81-69.
The Red Lions turned a 38-32 halftime lead into a massive 55-35 advantage in the third period en route to their second straight victory for a 3-1 win-loss record.
Jomari Presbitero drilled in a career-high 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting while Donald Tankoua added 12 markers and nine rebounds for the Lions.
Francis Munsayac put up a game-best 21 points highlighted by four triples before injuring his right foot late in the game while Jerome Garcia had 16 markers as the Generals fell to 1-2.
In the second game, Jose Rizal University (JRU) bounced back from a loss at the expense of Colegio de San Juan de Letran, 65-62.
Jed Mendoza finished with 17 points highlighted by a key defensive stop in the endgame as the Heavy Bombers rebounded from a tough 72-73 overtime defeat to Arellano University and improved to 2-2.
Bong Quinto scored 16 points while Nambatac had 14 markers for the Knights, who fell to 1-2.
SBC (81)- Presbitero 16, Tankoua 12, Bolick 10, Mocon 10, Doliguez 9, Potts 9, Oftana 6, Soberano 3, Adamos 2, Bahio 2, Tongco 2, Cabanag 0, Abuda 0, Noah 0.
EAC (69)- Munsayac 21, Garcia 16, Laminou 13, Onwubere 10, Diego 4, Guzman 3, Mendoza I. 2, Corilla 0, Pascua 0, Mendoza J. 0, Tampoc 0.
Quarterscores: 19-17; 38-32; 62-43; 81-69
JRU (65)- Mendoza 17, Teodoro 14, Lasquety 10, David 9, Abdul Razak 5, Grospe 5, Poutouochi 4, Bordon 2, De la Virgen 0, Castor 0.
CSJL (62)- Quinto 16, Nambatac 14, Calvo 11, Balanza 7, Ambohot 6, Balagasay 6, Taladua 2, Pamulaklakin 0, Vacaro 0, Bernabe 0, Gedaria 0.
Quarterscores: 14-12; 28-24; 47-40; 65-62
LPU (78)- Perez 20, Ayaay 17, Nzeusseu 10, Baltazar 7, Marcelino JC 7, Marcelino JV 6, Tansingco 5, Caduyac 4, Marata 2, Ibañez 0, Santos 0, Pretta 0.
SSC-R (73)- Calisaan 28, Bulanadi 16, David 6, Ilagan 6, Gayosa 6, Valdez 5, Navarro 3, Calma 2, Capobres 1, Baetiong 0, Costelo 0, Mercado 0, Are 0.
Quarterscores: 23-17; 43-39; 63-55; 78-73