Facing another middle-tier team, the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates schooled the College of Saint Benilde Blazers, , Tuesday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
The Pirates kept their slate unblemished, going 7-0. This is also their 25th straight elimination round win. Saint Benilde dropped to 2-4.
“We were always gonna be challenged, come to a time that we really have to bring our best. That’s what’s happening to us right now,” said head coach Topex Robinson.
CJ Perez showcased his MVP-form with 22 points, 12 rebounds, and five steals. Mike Nzeusseu also picked up a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds to go along with five blocks.
And the two sparked a huge third quarter surge that saw the Pirates storm back from a 43-39 deficit to a 52-43 lead with 4:02 left.
“It’s always nice to win, but winning hides a lot of our flaws. As much as we want to celebrate, what’s important is what’s in front of us and [that we] keep on moving forward,” added Robinson.
The Pirates continued to put the pressure on the young Blazers in the final frame. Benilde could only cut the lead to as low as six points, 56-62, after a Jimboy Pasturan three-point play with 7:32 left. Lyceum answered right back with a blitz to push the lead to as high as 13 points.
Jaycee Marcelino added 14 points, while MJ Ayaay had 11 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
Justin Gutang and Edward Dixon paced Benilde with 13 points each with the former tallying five rebounds, three assists, and three steals. The Blazers though committed 26 turnovers that led to 18 Lyceum points.
The game was halted for almost 15 minutes during the opening frame as the shotclock malfunctioned.
Lyceum look to make it eight in a row when they face neighbors Letran Knights on Friday, August 17. CSB, on the other hand, take on the EAC Generals on Tuesday, August 14.
LPU 77 – Perez 22, Nzeusseu 16, Marcelino JC 14, Ayaay 11, Caduyac 6, Marcelino JV 5, Pretta 3, Tansingco 0, Serrano 0, Ibanez 0, Cinco 0, Santos 0, Valdez 0, Yong 0
CSB 65 – Gutang 13, Dixon 13, Haruna 12, Leutcheu 8, Pasturan 8, Young 7, Carlos 4, Naboa 0, Velasco 0, Domingo 0, Belgica 0
Quarterscores: 20-21, 34-31, 56-51, 77-65