MANILA, Philippines – Omar Larupay buried the game-winner as the Lyceum Pirates escaped San Beda Red Lions in a thriller, 81-80, to grab third place in the NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday, November 9 at FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
Larupay saw an opportunity underneath with 5.3 seconds left off a key assist from Renzo Navarro to put the Pirates back on top.
Lyceum’s clutch basket came right after a Winston Ynot drive gave San Beda the lead, 80-79, with 15 seconds remaining.
The Red Lions still had a chance to seal the win at the buzzer but Gabriel Cometa missed his game-winning attempt.
With the stunning win, Lyceum claimed the third spot with a 10-6 card, while pushing San Beda down to fourth with a 9-5 record.
Larupay led with 15 points, 9 in the fourth quarter, including another clutch basket that tied the game at 78-all. He also finished with 7 rebounds.
Navarro added 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists for the Pirates.
The third canto saw a back-and-forth clash between the two teams before San Beda pulled ahead, 62-57.
But the Red Lion’s five-point deficit quickly vanished as Larupay cut the lead to three followed by a Navarro bucket.
James Kwekuteye played a key role for San Beda to finish with 10 points but missed two crucial free throws after Larupay knotted the contest at 78.
JB Bahio scored 15 and Cometa had 14 points to pace San Beda.
Earlier, the Mapua Cardinals blasted the Arellano Chiefs, 67-47, for their fourth straight victory.
Mapua carried their momentum from a strong first half start, leading as many as 28 points in a fiery third quarter that saw the Cardinals outscore the Chiefs, 16-7, to end the frame at 52-28.
Joaqui Garcia fired 13 points, 9 coming from triples to lead the Cardinals.
Rence Nocum finished close to a double-double with 10 points and 9 rebounds, adding 5 assists. Jomer Mercado chipped in 10 points.
Shane Menina, who missed the Chiefs’ last two games due to back spasms, attempted to rally Arellano back in the final quarter, but back-to-back treys from Paolo Hernandez gave Mapua a comfortable 63-38 lead.
Menina posted 10 points, while Axel Doromal added 10 of his own for the Chiefs.
Mapua and Arellano wound up with identical 6-9 records, with both teams still keeping their hopes up for a playoff seat.
Mapua 67 – Garcia 13, Nocum 10, Mercado 10, Hernandez 8, Cuenco 8, Pido 5, Agustin 5, Bonifacio 3, Soriano 2, Salenga 2, Lacap 1, Igliane 0.
Arellano 47 – Menina 10, Doromal 10, Abastillas 8, Tolentino 6, Sunga 4, Mallari 3, Oftana 3, Mantua 2, Talampas 1, Oliva 0.
Quarters: 16-8, 36-21, 52-28, 67-47
Lyceum 81 – Larupay 15, Navarro 10, Bravo 10, Guadana 9, Umali 9, Valdez 8, Montano 6, Barba 6, Villegas 4, Penafiel 4, Cunanan 0.
San Beda 80 – Bahio 15, Cometa 14, Ynot 13, Andrada 11, Kwekuteye 10, Cuntapay 8, Penuela 5, Sanchez 4, Alfaro 0, Visser 0, Cortez 0, Payosing 0, Llarena 0.
Quarters: 13-20, 41-45, 57-62, 81-80.
– Ivy Ferrer and Jaslyn dela Cuesta/Rappler