Last year’s third place team in the Premier Cup and the defending NAASCU champions, the Centro Escolar University (CEU) Scorpions, bombard the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Pirates with eight three pointers in a 64-49 win, Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
It was an offensive struggle for both teams in the opening salvo of the game. After opening the game with a Mon Abundo layup, the CEU Scorpions never got it going as they only managed to put up four points on the scoreboard to end the quarter. The Pirates, on the other hand, generated nine points in the quarter with Guy Mbida scoring four points in the paint. Holding a 7-4 lead with 19 seconds remaining, Jean Nguidjol was able to locate Jebb Bulawan for an alley-oop to take a 9-4 advantage to end the first quarter.
The CEU Scorpions, known to be a three-point shooting team, opened the second quarter with a huge 9-0 rally. Bernard Pagkatipunan started the rally with a three-point shot, while spitfire guard, Aaron Jeruta, connected on back-to-back three pointers to gain a 13-9 lead. Jean Naguidjol managed to quell the rally at the 7:29 mark, but missed free throws by the Pirates did not help their cause. Out of the 22 free throw attempts of LPU in the quarter, they only connected with nine. The Scorpions were able to score 24 total points in the quarter, with Mon Abundo and Aaron Jeruta leading the team with six points each at the half.
Just like in the second quarter, the Scorpions again started the quarter with a fiery 11-4 run to extend their lead. An unsportsmanlike foul on Bernard Pagkatipunan on Bulawan was called at the 6:25 mark, but that did not turn tide of the game. With three minutes remaining in the third canto, LPU hussled on defense to make an 8-4 run to close in on CEU 43-37.
In the final quarter, the Pirates were unable to keep up with the quick pace of the Scorpions. Moreover, perimeter defense became a problem for them as well. In a CEU rally that broke open the game, five consecutive three pointers by JM Vargas, Ervin Silverie, Aaron Jeruta, Alfred Batino, and Carlo Casino to gain a huge 58-41 lead. The lead would go up as high as 21 points with 3:26 remaining. The game ended with CEU winning 64-49.
Aaron Jeruta scored nine points to lead the team on three three pointers. In CEU’s lineup, 13 players were able to score in the game. For Lyceum, Jebb Bulawan scored 14 points to top score for the team with six rebounds.
CEU shot 29% from the field while Lyceum shot 31%, however, the Scorpions were able to have 28 more shot attempts compared to the Pirates. Moreover, Lyceum missed a total of 15 free throws in the game.
CEU will next play on Friday, May 1, 2015 against the UP Fighting Maroons at 3:15pm while the LPU Pirates face the UE Red Warriors on the same day at 5:00pm. Both games will still be played at the Filoil Flying V Arena, San Juan City.
CEU (64) – Jeruta 9, Pagkatipunan 8, Batino 7, Casino 7, Casino 6, Opiso 6, Ebondo 5, Vargas 5, Silverie 3, De Leon R. 2, Celso 2, De Leon K. 2, Saber 2.
LPU (49) – Bulawan 14, Gabayni 9, Zamora 7, Baltazar 6, Nguidjol 4, Meida 4, Magbuhos 2, Ayaay 2, Soliman 1.
Quarters: 4-9, 28-22, 43-37, 64-49
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