Lyceum overwhelms Letran, coasts to 2nd straight NCAA Finals
MANILA, Philippines – The Lyceum Pirates weathered a second-half storm by the feisty Letran Knights and cruised to their second straight finals, 109-85, in the NCAA Season 94 men’s basketball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Friday, October 26.
Mike Nzeusseu led the Pirates' charge with 23 points and 17 rebounds as CJ Perez came off the bench with 19 points, 5 boards, 4 steals and 3 assists in a dominant Final Four victory.
But before getting away with a 24-point blowout win, the Pirates had to go through a scare for a stretch as the Knights rallied from 16 points down and grabbed the lead for the first time, 56-55, after a blistering run capped by rookie Koy Galvelo's triple at the 6:22 mark.
However, Lyceum didn’t take the beating sitting down and responded with 15 unanswered points ending with Nzeusseu free throws, 70-56, with 3:57 left in the frame.
Sniper Spencer Pretta ignited the explosion further off back-to-back threes at the 6:50 mark of the 4th quarter, 96-66, as the Knights struggled without injured Letran star JP Calvo.
CJ Perez further buried the hapless Knights with one more triple to lead by 37, 105-68, with 4:27 left.
Larry Muyang paced Letran's last stand with 21 points and 12 boards as Bong Quinto ended his NCAA career with 12 markers, 7 dimes and 6 boards,
Calvo – who sustained an ankle injury during a tussle with Nzeusseu at the 9:44 mark in the 3rd quarter – also tallied 9 points and 3 assists in 19 minutes before the heartbreaking injury in his final game.
Lyceum 109 — Nzeusseu 23, Perez 19, Marcelino JC 15, Pretta 15, Ayaay 11, Santos 9, Caduyac 8, Tansingco 3, Ibanez 2, Serrano 2, Yong 2, Cinco 0, Lumbao 0, Marcelino JV 0, Valdez 0.
Letran 85 — Muyang 21, Quinto 12, Fajarito 11, Taladua 10, Ambohot 9, Calvo 9, Batiller 6, Celis 4, Galvelo 3, Agbong 0, Mandreza 0, Yu 0, Pambid 0.
Quarters: 29-16, 51-47, 81-64, 109-85.