Lyceum of the Philippines University survived a late-game rally from the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA and earned a 76-73 victory, remaining undefeated in the NCAA Season 99 Seniors Basketball Tournament on Saturday at the Filoil Ecooil Centre.
Enoch Valdez was the lone scorer in double-digits for the Pirates with 13, but Lyceum received contributions from the entire bench. Twelve of the 13 players that coach Gilbert Malabanan fielded in the game scored for his squad.
John Barba had a near double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds, while Vince Cunanan commanded the offense with seven points and seven assists.
Mclaude Guadana and Patrick Montana had nine points each, while big man Shawn Umali contributed across the board with seven points, eight rebounds, three assists, and two blocks.
Lyceum broke the game open in the third quarter by going on a 14-2 run coming out of halftime, leading by as much as 18, 54-36.
Despite the large deficit, the Altas fought back to bring the game within reach. They trimmed the lead down to as low as one point after a three-pointer from Carlo Ferreras, 73-74, with 22 seconds left to go.
On the next possession, Perpetual forced a turnover by Umali to go on a fast break, but an errant pass from Ferreras returned possession to Lyceum. The Altas were forced to foul as Cunanan knocked down the game-winning free throws to seal the match 76-73.
“I like the most is yung composure talaga nila. Hindi sila nararattle, although, mayroon din kaming problema especially me masyado akong nakaconcentrate sa referees. Sabi ko sa players ko just keep on playing, don’t mind the referees. Just mind being inside the court,” said coach Gilbert Malabanan.
The Pirates improved to 3-0 for the season, taking sole possession of the first seed. They aim to continue their streak as they face San Sebastian College-Recoletos on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, at 4:00 p.m. at the Filoil Ecooil Centre.
Jelo Razon returned after a one-game suspension and led the Altas with 14 points and seven rebounds. Mark Omega recorded a significant double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds, while Christian Pagaran and Art Roque contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively.
John Abis did most of his damage on the boards with eight points and 13 rebounds in a match that saw the Altas outrebound Lyceum 62-42.
Down 0-2, Perpetual will look to earn their first win against the similarly winless Arellano University, also on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at the Filoil Ecooil Centre.
LPU 76 – Valdez 13, Guadaña 9, Montaño 9, Barba 8, Cunanan 7, Umali 7, Bravo 7, Villegas 4, Omandac 4, Penafiel 4, Versoza 2, Aviles 2, Saure 0
UPHSD 73 – Razon 14, Omega 14, Pagaran 11, Roque 10, Abis 8, Ferreras 8, Barcuma 4, Boral 4, Gelsano, Nitura 0, Cuevas 0
Quarterscores: 19-20, 40-34, 62-50, 76-73