The Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates were able to showcase their depth in an 88-56 rout of the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, Friday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
This is Lyceum’s 21st straight elimination round win, dating back to the NCAA Season 93 Seniors Basketball Tournament. In addition, they are now 3-0 for the season.
“It’s a good birthday present for our team manager [Andro Lopez]. Nag-request siya na yung mistakes that we did against EAC wouldn’t happen again,” shared Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson.
JRU, on the other hand, dropped to 0-2.
“Again, we always try to tell our players that we have to play our best against any team. What we can control is what we can do,” added Robinson.
Figuring in a 10-10 tie early in the contest, the Pirates revved it up on defense, pressing hard against the hapless Heavy Bombers. It resulted in just a seven-point quarter for JRU.
The surge continued in the third canto, with Kim Cinco catching fire. Cinco, a seldom-used guard, had 11 points in the third frame, going 3-for-4 from downtown.
“We cannot fall into the trap that we are a good offensive team. Our goal is to make the opponents commit turnovers,” said Robinson.
Lyceum’s ballooned to as high as 36 points.
Mike Nzeusseu had a game-high 21 points on 7-for-12 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds and two blocks. Reigning Most Valuable Player CJ Perez and last season’s Rookie of the Year Jaycee Marcelino had 12 points each.
Lyceum also forced JRU to commit 34 turnovers that led to 30 points.
Jed Mendoza topped JRU with 14 points, while Leo Esguerra hauled down 11 boards.
Lyceum will next face the Arellano Chiefs (1-0) on Tuesday, July 24. JRU, on the other hand, look to stun the Letran Knights (0-1) on Friday, July 27. Both games will take place at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
LPU 88 – Nzeusseu 21, Perez 12, Marcelino JC 12, Cinco 11, Yong 6, Ibanez 5, Marcelino JV 4, Valdez 4, Ayaay 3, Pretta 3, Santos 2, Lumbao 2, Serrano 2, Caduyac 1, Tansingco 0
JRU 56 – Mendoza 14, Mallari 10, Dela Virgen 7, Padua 6, Miranda 5, David 5, Esguerra 4, Bordon 4, Estrella 1, Dela Rosa 0, Silvarez 0, Aguilar 0, Santos 0, Ramos 0, Doromal 0
Quarterscores: 21-16, 45-23, 71-39, 88-56