Banking on a balanced scoring, Lyceum of the Philippines University routed Arellano University, 99-65, to stay unscathed atop the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 93 basketball tournament on Tuesday at The Arena in San Juan City.
Four Lyceum cagers registered double figures in scoring while three other Pirates logged at least eight markers as they keep on improving their searing start with their fourth straight victory.
For head coach Topex Robinson, the Intramuros-based squad was fortunate to have faced Arellano on a shooting slump while his wards capitalized on that.
“We caught them (Arellano) in a bad afternoon and took advantage. The players stood up to the challenge of improving every game,” said Robinson, whose team matched its longest winning streak in history, which it achieved in 2013.
CJ Perez chalked 16 points while Jaycee Marcelino, Jesper Ayaay and Ralph Tansingco chipped in 13 markers apiece for the Pirates, who notched the highest scoring output by any team in the season so far.
Zach Nichols finished with 12 points and Kent Salado scored 11 markers as the Chiefs fell to an even 2-2 win-loss record.
Twin brothers Jaycee and Jayvee Marcelino joined forcers in unloading seven unanswered points to give Lyceum a 20-11 advantage in the opening quarter.
The Chiefs were able to cut the deficit down to three, 24-27, anchored on Archie Concepcion’s nine straight points but the Pirates responded with an 11-4 rally to stay ahead at halftime, 40-30.
Lyceum’s lead ballooned to 24 points, 76-52, at the 5:17 mark of the payoff period as Reymar Caduyac capped a blazing 12-2 run with a strong drive to the hoop and the Pirates never looked back.
Meanwhile, Sydney Onwubere took charge in the closing seconds as Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) snapped a two-game losing skid at the expense of the hard-fighting Mapua University (MU), 77-72.
Onwubere drained a triple and sank two crucial free throws to give the Generals a 75-69 lead with 12 ticks remaining as they held on to the victory following back-to-back losses.
The versartile forward pumped in a game-high 22 points highlighted by four treys while Juju Bautista contributed a double-double of 12 markers and 11 boards to lead the Ariel Sison-mentored squad to its second win.
Leo Gabo put up another stellar showing as the spitfire guard poured a team-best 19 points and JB Laflores had 17 markers for the Cardinals, who dropped to the cellar with a 1-3 slate.