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Lyceum notches second win at EAC’s expense



The Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Pirates powered their way in the paint in blasting the Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) Generals, 69-55, to notch their second win in the tournament, Tuesday afternoon, at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

The game started off sloppy as both teams committed unforced turnovers and blanked shots. Additionally, the two teams combined for three turnovers and missed four shots in the first 2:19 of the game. The scoring for the game opened with a Jean Nguidjol layup and a putback by MJ Ayaay to put EAC up 4-0. Excellent ball movement by the Pirates resulted to a crisp offense for the Pirates. To make matters for EAC, the tall frontline of Joseph Gabayni and Nguidjol crashed the boards hard that resulted to more possessions for the Pirates. The defense of the Topex Robinson-mentored squad also limited the Generals to just two field goals in the quarter, as six of their 11 first quarter points came from the free throw line. Lyceum led 22-11 to end the opening quarter.

The Lyceum lead continued to grow in the second half, as Wilson Baltazar torched Emilio Aguinaldo in scoring eight points in the quarter. The Pirates could not muster a rally and only scored in spurts, majority of their points coming from Francis Munsayac and Faustine Pascual in the quarter. Both teams, again, went sloppy in the last 1:32 of the second stanza to close the quarter with LPU still leading, 40-25.

Slowly, the Generals were able to cut the lead in the third canto. A 13-5 rally by EAC opened the first 5:02 of the quarter. The Pirates were sloppy in connecting on just three field goals in the quarter. Laminou took charge in the paint for the Generals, as he powered his way in the paint. Moreover, Enjerico Diego scored four straight points to cut the lead to six 47-41 before a layup by Jebb Bulawan closed the quarter with his team leading 49-41.

After a basket Hamadou, the Pirates, behind Jean Nguidjol, blasted their opponents with a 10-0 run that extended the lead to 17, 60-43, with 6:03 remaining. Nguijol scored six points in the rally, followed by a three pointer by Paul Soliman, and free throws by Gabayni. Three point shots by Munsayac lessened the lead, but eventually his team succumbed to the Pirates, 69-55.

“We’re just trying to enjoy the process and not the results,” Topex Robinson said after the game regarding his team. The Pirates, after having a 1-2 slate, broke their five game losing streak in the game. Furthermore, Robinson never lost confidence in his team even through the tough times, “even if we lose seven straight, I still believe that this team could also win seven straight.”

The Pirates were led by the 12 points of Cameroonian student-athlete, Jean Nguidjol. He also grabbed 13 boards and was able to swat away two shots. Smart Elite Ambassador, Joseph Gabayni also had an efficient outing with 11 points, nine boards, three assists, two steals, and a block. For the Generals, Smart Elite Ambassador, Francis Munsayac was the only General to score in double-figures with 15 points, including three treys, and was able to successfully steal the ball twice.

The Pirates outrebounded the Generals by a huge margin, 57-37, which led to 18 second chance points for Lyceum, that proved to be the vital difference in the game.

The Lyceum Pirates and the Emilio Aguinaldo Generals both close their first round campaign with a 2-7 slate.

The Scores:

LPU (69) – Nguidjol 12, Gabayni 11, Baltazar 10, Alanes 9, Ayaay 8, Lugo 8, Bulawan 6, Mbida 5, Sunga 0, Malabanan 0, Soliman 0, Lacastesantos 0

EAC (55) – Munsayac 15, Hamadou 8, Pascua 6, Corilla 6, Morada 5, Onwubere 5, Bonleon 4, Diego 4, Pascual 2, General 0, Mallari 0

Quarters: 22-11, 40-25, 49-41, 69-55