NCAA basketball

Montaño steps up as Lyceum punches Final Four ticket; Mapua extends win streak to 5

Martin Mendoza

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Montaño steps up as Lyceum punches Final Four ticket; Mapua extends win streak to 5

BEST PLAYER. Gyle Montaño in action for the Lyceum Pirates in the NCAA Season 99 men's basketball tournament.

NCAA Philippines

Gyle Montaño delivers his best game in a Pirates uniform as Lyceum joins league-leading Mapua in the NCAA Final Four cast

MANILA, Philippines – Gyle Montaño rose to the occasion for the Lyceum Pirates as they clinched a Final Four spot in the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball tournament with an 83-80 escape of the San Sebastian Stags at the FilOil EcoOil Centre on Friday, November 17.

Montaño delivered his best game in a Pirates uniform, exploding for a career-high 22 points on an efficient 8-of-10 field goal clip to go with 4 rebounds and 2 assists.

The sophomore guard wasted little time in making his presence felt for the Pirates as he fired 14 of his 22 points in the first two quarters alone on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting. 

Enoch Valdez backstopped Montaño with an impressive all-around performance of 18 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 3 blocks. 

With Lyceum holding onto a precarious 83-80 lead, Valdez had an opportunity to put the nail in the coffin with only 16 seconds remaining, but his three-pointer from the right corner clanked off the rim.

San Sebastian then had two chances to possibly send the game into overtime, but Alex Desoyo and Tristan Felebrico also failed to convert on their three-point attempts as time expired. 

Desoyo led San Sebastian with 22 points, while Rafael Are pumped in 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. 

The second-seeded Pirates hiked their record to 12-4, while the also-ran Stags fell to 5-11. 

In the other game, the league-leading Mapua Cardinals made it five wins in a row after crushing the Arellano Chiefs, 84-75.

Marc Cuenco topscored for Mapua with 17 points, while MVP contender Clint Escamis racked up 15 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal. 

Paolo Hernandez added 13 points and 7 rebounds, while JC Recto had 10 markers and 7 boards for the red-hot Cardinals, who are already assured of a top two spot in the Final Four that comes with a twice-to-beat advantage. 

Lorenz Capulong paced the Chiefs – who are already out of playoff contention – with a double-double of 22 points and 14 rebounds. 

Mapua rose to 14-3, while Arellano dropped to 2-14 – tied with the Letran Knights at last place. 

The Scores

First Game

LPU 83 – Montano 22, Valdez 18, Umali 13, Guadana 10, Barba 9, Omandac 5, Cunanan 2, Villegas 2, Penafiel 2, Bravo 0.

San Sebastian 80 – Desyo 22, Are 11, Felebrico 9, Calahat 9, Sumoda 7, Escobido 7, Velasco 4, Una 3, Ra. Gabat 3, Aguilar 3, Re. Gabat 2, De Leon 0, Castor 0, Singson 0.

Quarters: 17-19, 34-42, 64-63, 83-80.

Second Game

Mapua 84 – Cuenco 17, Escamis 15, Hernandez 13, Recto 10, Soriano 9, Rosillo 7, Fornis 6, Dalisay 5, Bonifacio 2.

Arellano 75 – Capulong 22, Talampas 14, Camay 8, Mallari 7, Geronimo 6, Sunga 6, Villarente 4, Ongotan 4, Rosalin 2, Dayrit 2, Tan 0, Yanes 0, Dela Cruz 0, Abastillas 0.

Quarters: 25-20, 51-40, 62-56, 84-75.


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