Unbeaten Lyceum fights off late JRU scare

CJ Perez tows the Lyceum Pirates to their 11th straight victory in the NCAA men's basketball tournament

JR Isaga

12:35:28pm September 7, 2018

12:35:28pm September 7, 2018

WORKHORSE. Lyceum star CJ Perez proves too much again for the JRU Bombers. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

WORKHORSE. Lyceum star CJ Perez proves too much again for the JRU Bombers. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The Lyceum Pirates showed yet again why they're a cut above the rest after dealing a heartbreaker to the upset-minded JRU Heavy Bombers, 82-74, in the NCAA men's basketball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Friday, September 7.

The Pirates, who missed the services of last year's top rookie Jaycee Marcelino due to illness, found themselves down 5, 63-68, against the lowly Bombers with 6:54 left in the 4th quarter.

However,  CJ Perez played true to his MVP form as he suddenly powered the Pirates to a 19-6 run on the way to their 11th straight victory.

Perez – who also drew support from graduating wing man MJ Ayaay during the key run – did the heavy lifting anew and finished with a monster 30-point, 16-rebound double-double on top of 3 steals. 

Hulking big man Mike Nzeusseu added 14 points and 8 boards in what is already considered an off night. Ayaay chipped in 12 points.

Meanwhile, resurgent guard MJ Dela Virgen led JRU's upset bid with 18 points off the bench and 3 dimes. Third-year leader Jed Mendoza added 14 points with 6 assists and 4 rebounds while Jun Silvarez bullied on the boards with 18 for the game plus 6 markers to boot.

Lions, Stags up

In the second game, the defending champion San Beda Red Lions made quick work of the listless Mapua Cardinals, 80-55.

Donald Tankoua, last season's Finals MVP, had a fun time with 24 points in 24 minutes and 8 rebounds. Calvin Oftana added 11 markers while Robert Bolick was on triple-double alert with 7 points, 8 dimes and 6 boards.

For the clipped Cardinals, Laurenz Victoria led the way with 19 points, 6 boards and 4 asssists. 

In the last game of the triple-header, the San Sebastian Stags found a glimmer of light in their lost season with a 78-67 win over the EAC Generals.

Posting just their second official win in 11 contests after two forfeited wins, the controversial RK Ilagan – quite fittingly – led the Stags’ resurgence with 16 points and 3 dimes off the bench.

Four other Stags scored in double-figures led by streaky forward Mike Calisaan’s 15 markers, 7 boards, 4 assists and 2 blocks.

Lead General Jerome Garcia rediscovered his shooting touch with a 23-point outing, but it just wasn’t enough. Big men Hamadou Laminou and JP Maguliano combined for 24 points and 22 boards, clinching dual double-doubles.

The Scores

First Game

Lyceum 82 – Perez 30, Nzeusseu 14, Ayaay 12, Caduyac 9, Tansingco 5, Ibanez 4, Serrano 4, Marcelino JV 2, Yong 2, Santos 0, Pretta 0, Cinco 0.

JRU 74 – Dela Virgen 18, Estrella 15, Mendoza 14, Mallari 11, Silvarez 6, Ramos 6, Esguerra 4, Padua 0, Miranda 0.

Quarters: 18-19, 37-36, 56-58, 82-74.

Second Game

San Beda 80 – Tankoua 24, Oftana 11, Mocon 9, Abuda 8, Bolick 7, Eugene 5, Canlas 4, Carino 4, Soberano 3, Tongco 3, Cabanag 2, Presbitero 0, Doliguez 0, Nelle 0, Cuntapay 0.

Mapua 55 – Victoria 19, Pelayo 12, Serrano 8, Gamboa 8, Bunag 2, Bonifacio 2, Nieles 2, Aguirre 2, Lugo 0, Biteng 0, Garcia 0, Jabel 0, Salenga 0.

Quarters: 19-18, 44-26, 60-42, 80-55.

Third Game

San Sebastian 78 – Ilagan 16, Calisaan 15, Capobres 14, Bulanadi 12, Dela Cruz 11, Calma 6, Sumoda 4, Valdez 0, Are 0, Desoyo 0, Isidro 0, Villapando 0.

EAC 67 – Garcia 23, Laminou 13, Maguliano 11, Bautista 8, Mendoza 6, Gonzales 4, Natividad 2, Cruz 0, Corilla 0, Cadua 0, Diego 0, Neri 0, Bugarin 0.

 Quarters: 12-14, 33-26, 50-52, 78-67.

STANDINGS 

Lyceum 11-0

San Beda 10-1

CSB 7-3

Letran 7-3

Perpetual 5-5

Arellano 4-6

EAC 2-8

Mapua 2-8

JRU 2-9

San Sebastian 2-9

– Rappler.com