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MANILA, Philippines – The Lyceum Pirates survived the Letran Knights in a thrilling NCAA Season 95 opening game, 84-80, at a packed Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, July 7.
Marcelino twin magic commandeered the Pirates to the victory as Jaycee topscored with 24 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals while Jayvee added 18 markers and 6 boards.
After Letran seized control, 74-68, midway through the 4th thanks to big shots by Jerrick Balanza, the Marcelino twins took charge, alternating buckets with their feared fastbreak efficiency in a 16-6 run.
Letran had a chance to tie or take the game in the final possession, but captain Jerrick Balanza fired an errant pass straight to debuting Pirate Jayson David. This resulted to one more fastbreak layup from Jayvee Marcelino to seal the deal with 3 seconds left.
Raymar Caduyac added 16 points, 5 boards and 3 assists to support the Marcelinos’ outburst.
The Pirates gave a sign of things to come in the 1st half after they mustered a 17-2 run to take a 12-point lead, 42-30. From there Letran was able to counter with a 9-2 charge, but Jayvee Marcelino doused their fire with a three to end the half up, 47-39.
Balanza led the Knights in the losing effort with 19 points, 5 assists, 4 boards and 4 steals while big man Larry Muyang punched in 14 markers on a 7-of-9 shooting off the bench.
Lyceum 84 – Marcelino JC 24, Marcelino JV 18, Caduyac 16, Santos 8, David 6, Yong 3, Navarro 3, Ibanez 2, Valdez 2, Tansingco 2, Pretta 0.
Letran 80 – Balanza 19, Muyang 14, Ular 12, Ambohot 10, Olivario 8, Caralipio 5, Batiller 4, Reyson 3, Mina 3, Yu 2, Balagasay 0.
Quarters: 17-21, 47-39, 64-62, 84-80.