The Zark’s-Lyceum Jawbreakers continued their Cinderella run, pulling off a thrilling 90-87 Game 1 win against the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers in overtime Tuesday in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup semifinals at Pasig Sports Center.
Mike Nzeusseu delivered the game-sealing victory with a rim-rattling slam with 5.5 seconds remaining in the extra period, as Joseph Terso went short on his game-tying triple in the ensuing possession.
“Again, I don’t know how they do it, but these guys just don’t know how to quit. We just kept on persisting and they did not give up,” said coach Topex Robinson as the Jawbreakers completed the comeback from 16-points down after trailing, 38-54 in the third frame.
The Cameroonian student-athlete uncorked 20 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks, while Jaycee Marcelino also contributed 20 markers on a 9-of-14 shooting clip.
CJ Perez also made his imprint, scoring seven of the final 10 points for Zark’s-Lyceum at the end of regulation to erect the 81-78 lead, before Billy Robles tied the game with a split from the line and a big putback in the last 23.1 seconds.
The reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player, however, would botch his chances to win the game late in the fourth quarter, missing two free throws in the final 3.2 seconds, giving the Skippers a chance to steal the game, before Jeric Serrano stifled Gab Banal’s corner triple at the buzzer.
The same was the case in the overtime period, where it was Joseph Terso this time who went short on his triple as Marinerong Pilipino could not force a second overtime.
Zark’s-Lyceum aims to advance to the Finals come Game 2, scheduled on Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Rian Ayonayon led the Skippers with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists, while Banal had 18 markers and nine boards in the loss.
Zark’s-Lyceum 90 — Jc. Marcelino 20, Nzeusseu 20, Baltazar 15, Perez 14, Jv. Marcelino 10, Ayaay 6, Caduyac 4, Serrano 1, Cinco 0, Ibañez 0, Tansingco 0, Yong 0.
Marinerong Pilipino 87 — Ayonayon 22, Banal 18, Pasaol 12, Robles 11, Tratter 10, Toth 6, Babilonia 4, Iñigo 2, Terso 2, Eboña 0, Miranda 0, Tolentino 0.
Quarterscores: 23-20, 35-43, 59-65, 81-81, 90-87.