In their first game without pillars CJ Perez and MJ Ayaay, the Marcelino twins showed that they can lead the way for Lyceum.
Jaycee and Jayvee Marcelino connived in the final frame to lead the Pirates’ 84-80 come-from-behind win over the Colegio de Letran de San Juan Knights, Sunday afternoon at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
“Our team is about honoring CJ and Ay for bringing us, but also building on it. We’re grateful for what they did but what’s important is what’s in front of us,” said fourth-year Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson.
With Jerrick Balanza leading a Letran flurry, the Knights were up 76-71 with 3:37 left. Jaycee Marcelino had just accumulated his fourth foul that time.
But that did not stop Robinson from fielding a small lineup that had Enzo Navarro, Jayvee Marcelino, and Raymar Caduyac composing the backcourt while Jayson David manning the post.
As they say, speed killed as the trio of Lyceum guards forced turnovers that led to easy buckets in a 6-0 spurt to regain the lead.
After Jeo Ambohot split his charities, Jaycee Marcelino returned to the game, scoring an and-one over Larry Muyang to force the big man out of the game. The twins then linked up in a fastbreak attempt to give Lyceum an 82-77 edge with 50.7 ticks remaining.
“Sabi ni Jayvee coach tayo na pinaka maliit. Sabi ko nga sa kanila coming into the game we have two choices it’s either we lose by just being the smallest team or either we win by being the smallest team. The choice is ours,” said Robinson.
Bonbon Batiller was able to knock down a triple to cut the lead down to just two afterward.
Caduyac then missed a shot that led to a possible Letran break. However, Balanza’s pass to the post landed squarely on David’s hands that led to a Jayvee Marcelino layup to seal the win.
Jaycee scattered 24 points, six rebounds, five assists, and three steals while Jayvee added 18 points, six rebounds, and two assists.
Lyceum did not have Mike Nzeusseu in the game as he is still nursing a jammed right index finger he sustained in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup All-Star Game.
Balanza, who missed the entire second round of Season 94, paced Letran with 24 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Muyang added 14 points and six boards in just 23 minutes of gametime while Ambohot had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Lyceum looks to make it two in a row when it takes on the EAC Generals on Friday, July 12 at 4:00 pm. Letran, on the other hand, faces the Arellano Chiefs earlier in the day.
LPU 84 – Marcelino JC 24, Marcelino JV 18, Caduyac 16, Santos 8, David 6, Yong 3, Navarro 3, Ibanez 2, Valdez 2, Tansingco 2, Pretta 0
CSJL 80 – Balanza 19, Muyang 14, Ular 12, Ambohot 10, Olivario 8, Caralipio 5, Batiller 4, Reyson 3, Mina 3, Yu 2, Balagasay 0
Quarterscores: 17-21, 47-39, 64-62, 84-80