Pirates escape Knights before Lions showdown

 

 

MANILA, Philippines – MJ Ayaay proved clutch yet again as Lyceum outgunned Letran in the final stretch to complete a come-from-behind victory, 87-82, and stay unscathed in the NCAA Season 94 men's basketball tournament on Friday, August 17, at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

After trailing at 70-78, the Pirates dropped a 17-4 run in the final five minutes to turn the game around and secure their eighth straight victory.

Ayaay unloaded 6 of his 20 points during the pivotal run while CJ Perez and Mike Nzeusseu also came through with 16 points each.

Lyceum – the finalist last season mentored by Topex Robinxon – will go for a first-round sweep against likewise unbeaten San Beda Red Lions on Tuesday, August 21, in a rematch of last year's finals.

St. Benilde, JRU triumph

College of St. Benilde bucked the absence of Clement Leutcheu as it outlasted Arellano, 70-62, to enhance its own Final Four bid. 

Rookie Justin Gutang finished with 15 points and 7 rebounds while fellow Fil-Am Yankie Haruna had 9 points, the same number of boards and a shot block to help the Blazers improve to 5-3 – good enough to push them in the upper half of the standings.

Their performances filled the vacuum left by Leutcheu, who served a one-game suspension for the two technical fouls he incurred in a win over the Emilio Aguinaldo Generals Tuesday.

The Cameroonian is the team’s top rebounder (9.6) and second leading scorer (11.9 points). 

“The team played well, we held our own in defense even without Clement,” said CSB coach TY Tang, who posted his first back-to-back victories since taking over the reins last year.

The Blazers also improved on their forgettable 4-14 record a season ago but Tang said they're far from satisdfied.

CSB could zoom straight to the magic four if it could beat Perpetual Help (5-2) next week.

The Chiefs fell to 3-4.

Jose Rizal University, meanwhile, neutralized Hamadou Laminou as it pulled off a shock 57-55 win over Emilio Aguinaldo College.

The Heavy Bombers picked up their second win, but just the first on court as the other came as a result of San Sebastian forfeiting its games (READ: NCAA forfeits San Sebastian’s wins)

The Bombers held Laminou to just 10 points, 7 boards and a block after coming into the game averaging 16 points, 10.3 caroms and 2.7 blocks a game as the Generals were dragged to a 2-6 slate. 

The Scores

First Game:

St. Benilde 70 – Gutang 15, Carlos 11, Haruna 9, Belgica 8, Domingo 8, Dixon 6, Naboa 6, Young 5, Pasturan 2, Barnes 0, Nayve 0, Velasco 0.

Arellano U 62 – Alcoriza 14, Sera Josef 11, Villoria 9, Canete 9, Alban 6, Segura 3, Codinera 3, Concepcion 2, Ongolo Ongolo 2, Santos 2, Sacramento 1, Dela Cruz 0, Bayla 0, Dela Torre 0.

Quarters: 16-11, 32-27, 51-46, 70-62.

Second Game:

JRU 57 – Mendoza 18, Mallari 12, Esguerra 8, Silvarez 8, Miranda 7, Padua 2, Santos 2, Bordon 0, Doromal 0.

EAC 55 – Garcia 19, Laminou 10, Diego 6, Bautista 6, Maguliano 4, Gonzales 4, Bugarin 4, Natividad 2, Cadua 0, Mendoza 0, Neri 0, Tampoc 0, Robin 0.

Quarterscores: 20-6, 28-23, 47-38, 57-55.

Third Game:

Lyceum 87 – Ayaay 20, Nzeusseu 16, Perez 16, Marcelino JC 10, Santos 9, Marcelino JV 7, Caduyac 6, Tansingco 2, Yong 1, Ibanez 0, Serrano 0, Pretta 0, Cinco 0, Valdez 0.

Letran 82 – Calvo 18, Quinto 13, Muyang 13, Fajarito 12, Ambohot 10, Batiller 10, Balanza 4, Yu 2, Taladua 0, Mandrez 0, Balagasay 0, Agbong 0, Celis 0.

Quarterscores: 25-26, 47-39, 58-64, 87-82.

– Rappler.com