MANILA, Philippines – Lyceum drubbed College of St. Benilde, 77-64, to claim the twice-to-beat edge in the Final Four of the 94th NCAA basketball tournament on Thursday, October 11, at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
CJ Perez struggled on his shots as he missed 11 of his 17 attempts but still managed 17 points, 10 rebounds and 4 steals to power the Pirates while Cameroonian Mike Nzeusseu also had 13 points and 8 boards.
The victory – the Pirates' 15th against just two defeats – also assured them of a spot in the top two which comes with the twice-to-beat semifinals incentive.
San Beda likewise clinched the twice-to-beat edge as it flattened Arellano U, 90-52, for a 15-1 record.
Javee Mocon fueled the Red Lions with 24 points and 11 rebounds while Robert Bolick scattered 11 points, 5 rebounds and 9 assists.
The Pirates' triumph also ousted CSB from the Final Four hunt as it fell to 8-8, including 5 losses in the second round of elimination after sharing third with Letran after the first round with a 6-3 record.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, fell to 5-11.
Idle Perpetual Help, currently with an 11-5 mark, benefitted from Lyceum’s triumph as it clinched the last Final Four slot.
The win also somehow soothed the pain of Lyceum’s heartbreaking 79-80 defeat to Letran last week.
“There’s a big lesson from that loss to Letran, it really kept us humble and we stuck with each other as a team,” said Lyceum coach Topex Robinson.
MJ Ayaay and Reymar Caduyac were also instrumental for the Pirates with the former firing 7 of his 10 points in the 3rd quarter when the Pirates made the separation and the latter unleashing 8 of his 10 in the 4th canto when they quashed the last fight out of the Blazers.
It wasn't just all-scoring for Caduyac as he also contributed in other departments with 7 assists, 5 boards and 2 steals.
Now, Lyceum is looking forward to its much-awaited duel with last year’s finals conqueror San Beda next week.
“We really look up to them as role models and how a team should be run. We have so much respect for San Beda and we know how hard it is to beat them, they will always bring the best out of our team,” said Robinson.
Lyceum 77 – Perez 17, Nzeusseu 13, Caduyac 10, Ayaay 10, Tangsingco 8, Marcelino JV 6, Yong 4, Pretta 3, Marcelino JC 2, Ibanez 2, Santos 2, Valdez 0.
St Benilde 64 – Gutang 13, Leutcheu 11, Carlos 11, Dixon 8, Haruna 8, Naboa 7, Nayve 5, Pasturan 1, Belgica 0, Young 0.
Quarters: 26-17, 37-35, 62-53, 77-64.
San Beda 90 – Mocon 24, Bolick 11, Oftana 9, Doliguez 8, Tnakoua 8, Canlas 6, Carino 5, Nelle 5, Soberano 5, Cuntapay 4, Presbitero 3 Eugene 2, Abuda 0, Cabanag 0, Tongco 0.
Arellano 52 – Bayla 12, Alban 10, Canete 7, Alcoriza 6, dela Torre 5, Concepcion 4, dela Cruz 2, Sacramento 2, Sera Josef 2, Segura 2, Codinera 0, Ongolo Ongolo 0.
Quarters: 22-15, 38-23, 60-47, 90-52.