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NCAA 97: Renzo Navarro takes over as Lyceum snaps skid at Arellano’s expense

Renzo Navarro took charge late as Lyceum of the Philippines University completed a turnaround against Arellano University, 70-66, to stay in the hunt for a play-in berth in NCAA Season 97 seniors basketball tournament, Friday at La Salle Green Hills’ St. Benilde Gym in Mandaluyong City.

The senior point guard scored and assisted in the huge 22-point final quarter for the Pirates to snag the win past the Justin Arana-led Chiefs.
Navarro finished with 10 points — all in the fourth quarter — to go with seven assists and two rebounds.

“He is one of our generals, so kumbaga binigay na namin sa kanya yung game no,” Lyceum head coach Gilbert Malabanan shared. “Meron kasi siyang injury sa paa, so ayaw ko siyang masyadong gamitin kasi lumalala yung injuries niya.

“Pero sana maka-recover siya kasi iniinda niya palagi. Sabi ko sa kanya, you want to take charge, I’ll give you the honor,” he continued.

Tied at 66, Navarro found himself with a good lane to the basket and attacked for the go-ahead basket with 30.2 seconds left in the game.

Arellano captain Gelo Sablan had the chance to make it a game, but could not sink both free throws, ultimately sealing their doom into another heartbreaking defeat.

The win pushed the Pirates and the Chiefs to a stalemate at 2-5 in seventh place, along with University of Perpetual Help System DALTA.

Enoch Valdez kept the Pirates above water with 17 markers, five boards, and one steal. Meanwhile, rookie Maclaude Guadana added 12 points, four rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and one steal.

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Justin Arana had a monstrous double-double performance of 17 points and 24 rebounds, adding to four blocks, an assist, and a steal, in the losing cause. Jordan Sta. Ana chipped in 14 markers, two steals, and one assist, while Maui Cruz added 12 points, three rebounds, five assists, and three turnovers.

Lyceum will try to keep the momentum going against Perpetual on April 24 at 12 NN., while Arellano will look to bounce back against Emilio Aguinaldo College (3-4) later in the day at 3 p.m.

The Scores:

Lyceum 70 — Valdez 17, Guadana 12, Navarro 10, Umali 6, Barba 5, Cunanan 5, Guinto 5, Remulla 4, Bravo 4, Larupay 2, Silvarez 0, Garro 0, Jabel 0.

Arellano 66 — Arana 17, Sta. Ana 14, Cruz 12, Sablan 10, Oliva 6, Doromal 5, Carandang 2, Talampas 0, Caballero 0, Uri 0.

Quarterscores: 14-21, 29-39, 48-49, 70-66.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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