EAC scores massive upset over LPU, Balanza takes over for Letran

JR Isaga
EAC scores massive upset over LPU, Balanza takes over for Letran

Josh Albelda

Jethro Mendoza comes through the clutch as the EAC Generals pull off the biggest upset yet over the Lyceum Pirates early in the NCAA tournament




MANILA, Philippines – The EAC Generals nailed the biggest upset yet of the NCAA Season 95 after eking out an 84-82 win over two-time finalist Lyceum Pirates at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Friday, July 12. 

Jethro Mendoza averted disaster in the endgame with two late threes en route to a 21-point finish with 4 rebounds. Lead guard Marwin Taiwan also ended up with 21 markers while big man JP Maguliano churned out 10 points and 15 rebounds.

After being down by as many as 18 points late, the Pirates still snatched away the lead late in the 4th after the trademark drives of the Marcelino twins. Jayvee Marcelino clinched a 77-76 edge for the Pirates at the 3:34 mark of the 4th off an and-one layup, completing a 31-12 run from their 18-point hole.

However, Mendoza doused Lyceum’s fire right after with two straight killer threes for an 82-77 lead. Still, the Pirates managed to tie the game one more time off another Marcelino and-one, 82-all, this time from Jaycee with 55 seconds left in regulation.

But Mendoza would not be denied of his time in the spotlight as he sank one last go-ahead bucket off a pass from Taywan with 1.5 ticks left. 

Lyceum tried an inbound alley-oop off the timeout to tie the game, but the ball got intercepted as time expired, prompting the EAC bench to erupt in cheers.

Jaycee Marcelino led the failed comeback effort for Lyceum with 23 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists while Reymar Caduyac added 17 markers, 5 dimes and 4 boards.

 GAME HERO. Jethro Mendoza delivers when it mattered for the EAC Generals. Photo by 
Kyle Janremy Bustos/Rappler


Balanza stars as Letran downs Arellano 

The Letran Knights also provided a thrilling contest as they outgunned the Arellano Chiefs, 81-72, in the middle game of the triple-header. 

As both teams were hungry for their first win after losing in the opening day, their contest against each other went neck and neck until the 4th quarter. 

However, after Jeo Ambohot gave Letran a four-point cushion at the 7:20 mark, captain Jerrick Balanza followed right after with a personal 11-3 eruption against the stunned Chiefs defense. 

When the dust settled, Balanza had given Letran a 12-point lead, 79-67, after an open layup at the 2:21 mark. At that point, Arellano simply did not have enough time to mount a comeback.

Balanza finished with a collegiate career-high 31 points on a 10-of-18 shooting with 3 rebounds and 2 assists while Ambohot chipped in 15 markers and 11 boards.

Rence Alcoriza led Arellano in the losing effort with 19 points and 4 rebounds.

 SOLID START. The Red Lions get their title defense off to a strong start. Photo by 
Kyle Janremy Bustos/Rappler


San Beda routs JRU for a 2-0 start 

Coming off an opening day win over Arellano, the San Beda Red Lions proved too much for Jose Rizal University, scoring a 74-52 demolition of the Heavy Bombers. 

The three-peat defending champions started the game firing from all cylinders, establishing a 15-0 lead early on and never looked back, leading by as much as 23 by the end of the 3rd frame. 

Calvin Oftana and James Canlas did the heavy lifting for the Red Lions, putting up 17 markers apiece, but it was Evan Nelle who stole the limelight for his playmaking. 

The sophomore point guard struggled scoring but was effective on the offensive end by dishing out 14 assists, 11 in the 1st half alone. 

“It was a bad game for me. I couldn’t shoot so I thought when Calvin, James, and Clint [Doliguez] were making their shots, just pass it to them and create for them,” said Nelle, who wound up with only 5 points. 

Despite the methodical win for San Beda, coach Boyet Fernandez was quick to point out what they can improve on especially after scoring only 8 in the final frame. 

“We gave up 52 points against JRU and coach Louie [Gonzalez] did a good job in adjusting, that’s why we only scored 8 in the 4th,” said the multi-titled mentor. “But a win is a win so we look forward to the next.”

The Scores

First Game 

San Besa 74 – Canlas 17, Oftana 17, Bahio 11, Doliguez 7, Tankoua 6, Soberano 6, Nelle 5, Abuda 3, Carino 2, Etrata 0, Alfaro 0, Obenza 0, Cuntapay 0, Visser 0.

JRU 52 – Dionisio 13, Dela Rosa 11, Vasquez 9, Amores 8, Steinl 6, Jungco 2, Aguilar 2, Abaoag 1, Arenal 0, Dela Virgen 0, Macatangay 0.

Quarters: 21-10, 45-31, 66-43, 74-52.

Second Game 

Letran 81 – Balanza 31, Ambohot 15, Ular 8, Caralipio 8, Mina 6, Muyang 5, Olivario 2, Javillonar 2, Sangalang 2, Reyson 2, Yu 0, Batiller 0, Balagasay 0.

Arellano 72 – Alcoriza 19, Arana 12, Gayosa 11, Salado 9, Sablan 8, Talampas 6, Concepcion 4, Bayla 3, Espiritu 0, De Guzman 0, Santos 0.

Quarters: 23-16, 36-40, 60-59, 81-72.

Third Game

EAC 84 – Taywan 21, Mendoza 21, Carlos 11, Maguliano 10, Tampoc 8, Martin 5, Gonzales 4, Gurtiza 2, Luciano 2, Estacio 0, Cadua 0.

Lyceum 82 – Jc. Marcelino 23, Caduyac 17, David 9, Tansingco 7, Ibanez 6, Jv. Marcelino 5, Valdez 5, Remulla 2, Navarro 2, Yong 2, Guinto 2, Santos 2, Laurente 0, Pretta 0.

Quarters: 14-22, 40-39, 66-55, 84-82.  

– With a report from Ferdin Sanchez/Rappler.com

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