MANILA, Philppines – After missing his team’s first game due to personal differences with Lyceum management over “demands,” Guy Mbida returned for the Pirates’ second game of the season and helped them defeat the Letran Knights, 74-70, on Friday afternoon, July 4, at the San Juan Arena.
Mbida showed his team what they were missing as he contributed in the scoring and rebounding departments ferociously against Letran, totaling 15 markers and 12 boards in the victory.
LPU also received 16 points and two rebounds from Dexter Zamora, whose explosion in the second period propelled Lyceum to a halftime lead after facing an early deficit.
The victory improved Lyceum’s record to 1-1, while Letran began its season with two straight losses – the first time they’ve started 0-2 since 2010.
Both squads exchanged baskets to start the third quarter, as the lead changed hands between both teams a couple of times.
However, both clubs increased the pressure on defense, as the game remained tied at 48 for a couple of minutes until a nifty move in the paint by Kevin Racal awarded Letran with a two-point lead with 3:07 left in the third quarter.
The Knights converted another field goal to up their advantage to 52-48, but a 7-0 run spearheaded by Mbida and Zamora gave the Pirates a three-point edge, which they carried entering the fourth quarter.
With 13 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds, Racal carried the load for Letran, which was up by as much as eight early in the game.
A long-range shot by Wilson Baltazar, who totaled 15 for the contest, gave Lyceum a 5-point breathing room with a little over 8 minutes to go. Nonetheless, Letran wouldn’t budge and quickly trimmed into their opponents lead, 58-57, with 7:06 to go.
A few possessions later, Lyceum would regain momentum after an unsportsmanlike foul sent Mbida to the line, where he split his charities. Right after, the Cameroonian recruit knocked in a three, which was followed by a fastbreak basket by Shane Ko, forcing Letran coach Caloy Garcia to call a time-out, 66-57.
The Knighs turned to a zone defense in hopes of stopping the Pirates’ scoring. While it worked to disrupt LPU’s offensive sets, offensive rebounds by Mbida turned to second chance points, keeping Letran away from getting within striking distance.
A basket by Racal cut Lyceum’s lead to six, 71-65, with 1:35 to go. But in spite of that, the Pirates were able to hold on for their first victory of the season after Joseph Gabayni sealed the game at the free throw line with a couple of seconds to go.
LPU (74): Zamora 16, Mbbida 15, Baltazar 15, Ko 10, Bulawan 6, Gabayni 5, Soliman 3, Taladua 2, Maconocido 2, Pamulaklakin 0, Lesmoras 0, Elmejrab 0.
CSJL (70): Racal 13, Gabawan 11, Singontiko 11, Publico 11, Cruz 6, Quinto 5, Luib 3, Nambatac 2, Dela Peña 2, Tambeling 2, Ruaya 2, Castro 2, Calvo 0, Apreku 0.
Quarter Scoring: 13-21, 39-35, 55-52, 74-70
San Beda easily handles Mapua, 89-55
The San Beda Red Lions made it two wins in a row in the second game of the day, easily dispatching the Mapua Cardinals, 89-55, in a show of dominance by the defending champions.
Baser Amer spearheaded the victors, registering 21 points and five assists while going 7-of-9 from long range. Anthony Semerad pitched in as well, contributing 15 markers while Ola Adeogun had an impressive 10-point, 8-rebound outing.
Saitanan led Mapua with 15 and five.
After attaining a seven-point threshold after the first quarter, SBC quickly built a 10-point lead in the second period, 28-18, leaning on the terrific shooting of Amer.
Ending the half, San Beda erected an 11-2 run which gave them a 50-32 edge into intermission.
The Cardinals had no answer for the assault, handing the reigning title-holders an aeasy victory. – Rappler.com
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