For the first-time in school history, Lyceum will be armed with a playoff incentive heading into the post-season.
Behind Reymar Caduyac, the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates were able to fend off the struggling College of Saint Benilde Blazers, taking a 77-64 victory, Thursday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
“We know it’s gonna be tough from here on. We’re so locked in on what we prepared for. We never abandoned to what’s really important to us,” said fourth-year Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson.
With a 15-2 record, the Pirates have clinched a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four of the NCAA Season 94 Seniors Basketball tournament. And they have Reymar Caduyac to thank for it.
“I call him ‘speedy bagal’ because his timing is really is super smart. What he lacked in physical ability as far as speed, he makes up for it by being smart,” Robinson remarked about Caduyac.
The Blazers, who have been hungry for a win, cut a once-nine point lead down to just six with five minutes left in the game. That’s when the Pirates decided to lock in and blast CSB.
A three-pointed by MJ Ayaay extended the lead to where it once was before Caduyac took charge, scoring the last six points of Lyceum.
It also didn’t help the Benilde’s cause that Clement Leutcheu muffed four free throws while the Blazers committed three straight errors.
“They really gave us a run for our money. The future of that team is really bright. I’m just happy the way they are running their program,” Robinson said about TY Tang’s squad.
Caduyac ended up with 10 points, seven assists, five rebounds, and two steals.
CJ Perez had 17 points, 10 rebounds, and four steals while Mike Nzeusseu tallied 13 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks.
Benilde, who were once sporting a 6-3 record to end the first round, have dropped its third straight game to fall to an even 8-8. They handed Perpetual the last Final Four slot as well.
Justin Gutang had 13 points and seven rebounds for Benilde but was forced to commit six errors in the contest. Clement Leutcheu tallied a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Lyceum will play its final game of the round against the San Beda Red Lions on Thursday, August 18 at 4:00pm. CSB, on the other hand, plays its penultimate game on Tuesday, October 16, taking on the JRU Heavy Bombers.
LPU 77 – Perez 17, Nzeusseu 13, Caduyac 10, Ayaay 10, Tangsingco 8, Marcelino JV 6, Yong 4, Pretta 3, Marcelino JC 2, Ibanez 2, Santos 2, Valdez 0
CSB 64 – Gutang 13, Leutcheu 11, Carlos 11, Dixon 8, Haruna 8, Naboa 7, Nayve 5, Pasturan 1, Belgica 0, Young 0
Quarterscores: 26-17, 37-35, 62-53, 77-64
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