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Tiebreaker Times


NCAA 99: Lyceum’s revenge tour continues, holds off Mapua for share of lead

Lyceum of the Philippines University has found its groove once again in the NCAA Season 99 Seniors Basketball Tournament.

The Pirates avenged their first-round loss against the Mapua Cardinals with a gritty 86-82 victory against the Cardinals on Friday at the Filoil Ecooil Centre.

After a three-game losing streak to end the first round, the Pirates have rebounded with a three-game winning streak to start the second round. They have now tied themselves with Mapua for the number one spot in the standings, as both squads hold a 9-3 record.

Lyceum’s head coach Gilbert Malabanan shared his hopes after the game that Lyceum would sustain their winning ways in the rest of the second round, in contrast to how they ended the first.

“Hopefully, yun naman yung gusto ng mga teams na talagang masustain yung ganyang laro. And hopefully, ma-sustain nga namin hanggang sa dulo kasi siyempre mayroon din kaming talagang goal, and I want that goal to happen na pinagtatrabuhan talaga namin with my players,” said Malabanan.

The Pirates led by double-digits in the fourth quarter until a late rally from Clint Escamis almost brought a comeback for Mapua.

Lyceum led by as much as 19 points in the third quarter, with a score of 63-44 after a pair of free throws from Vince Cunanan with 5:10 left in the quarter. They maintained a double-digit lead until the last 2:25 of the fourth frame when Escamis gave them a scare.

A layup from Jopet Soriano cut the Lyceum lead down to 82-73. Then, an untimely foul on an Escamis three-pointer saw Mapua suddenly within reach of the game at 82-76.

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NCAA-99-MU-vs-LPU-Clint-Escamis-2 NCAA 99: Lyceum's revenge tour continues, holds off Mapua for share of lead Basketball LPU MIT NCAA News  - philippine sports newsIn the very next possession, Escamis dived on the floor to intercept Renz Villegas’ inbound pass, found Marc Cuenco in the chaos, got the ball back from Cuenco as he got up on both feet, and then sank a clutch three-point shot, bringing the game within one possession at 82-79 with 39 seconds left.NCAA-99-MU-vs-LPU-Scuffle-2 NCAA 99: Lyceum's revenge tour continues, holds off Mapua for share of lead Basketball LPU MIT NCAA News  - philippine sports news

On the other end of the court, the Pirates received a break from the Mapua momentum as a hard foul on Villegas’ layup attempt led to a scuffle between Shawn Umali and Peter Rosilio. Rosilio slapped Umali’s arms away and attempted to rush the Pirates’ big man, resulting in a double technical for Rosilio and a single technical for Umali, ejecting Rosilio from the hardwood.

Villegas sank all three free throws at the line, putting Lyceum ahead 85-79.

Though Escamis had another three-point shot to give Mapua’s fans a glimmer of hope, Penafiel sank the dagger with a single free throw, putting them ahead 86-82 as time expired.

Malabanan shared his relief after the game for the Pirates’ substantial lead entering the fourth quarter, which gave them just enough of an advantage to secure the win.

“Naka-score nga sila ng dalawang three points kanina, buti na lang mayroon kaming malaking lead, buti na lang na may lead kaming ganoon na nagamit namin sa huli,” said Malabanan.NCAA-99-MU-vs-LPU-John-Bravo NCAA 99: Lyceum's revenge tour continues, holds off Mapua for share of lead Basketball LPU MIT NCAA News  - philippine sports news

Enoch Valdez and John Barba returned to the court for the Pirates in Friday’s matchup. Valdez missed the matchup against Emilio Aguinaldo College due to illness, while Barba was pulled out of the EAC game halfway through with an ankle injury.

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With the two still not 100% healthy, Patrick Montano helped carry the offensive load with 18 points on 50% shooting. Umali also had another impressive outing with 17 points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block.NCAA-99-MU-vs-LPU-Bravo-and-Umali NCAA 99: Lyceum's revenge tour continues, holds off Mapua for share of lead Basketball LPU MIT NCAA News  - philippine sports news

John Bravo almost had a double-double with his 12 points and nine rebounds, while Vince Cunanan finished with 10 points, five rebounds, and six assists.

The Pirates will aim to move ahead of Mapua in the standings when they face Colegio de San Juan de Letran on Sunday at 12:20 p.m.

Escamis finished with a game-high 25 points while also adding four rebounds and four assists. Jopet Soriano added 13 points, while Marc Cuenco contributed 11 points.

The Cardinals will also look to bounce back on Sunday at 2:40 p.m. against San Sebastian College-Recoletos.

The Scores:

Lyceum 86- Montano 18, Umali 17, Bravo 12, Cunanan 10, Villegas 8, Valdez 7, Guadana 6, Omandac 4, Penafiel 4, Barba 0, Aviles 0, Fuentes 0

Mapua 82- Escamis 25, Soriano 13, Cuenco 11, Rosilio 8, Dalisay 6, Recto 4, Bancale 4, Asuncion 2, Hernandez 0, Fornis 0

Quarterscores: 20-26, 48-40, 69-57, 86-82

Written By

Vito Martin is a sportswriter from the Philippines. In 2023, he graduated from the Ateneo De Manila University with a degree in BS Psychology. He wrote for Ateneo’s official school publication The GUIDON, where he covered basketball, football, baseball, badminton, and other collegiate sports. He is a life-long fan of the Boston Celtics and an avid follower of the NBA

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