SAN JUAN City – Lyceum of the Philippines University served notice of its bid for an improved showing in this year’s coming college wars by downing Mapua Institute of Technology, 91-82, at the resumption of the 2016 FilOil Flying V Premier Cup at the San Juan Arena Wednesday (May 4). The Pirates placed ninth while the Cardinals were a semifinalist in the 10-team NCAA last season.
Guard Exeqiel Biteng gave Mapua the lead for the last time on a triple, 71-70, with 7:22 remaining in the contest. Suddenly, the Pirates went on a 9-0 run ignited by back-to-back baskets by forward Jebb Bulawan for a 79-71 cushion.
Mapua would slightly threaten with rookie Almel Orquina connecting on a triple and CJ Isit adding a pair of free throws, 75-79. However, crucial baskets by Shaquille Alanes and the returning Dexter Zamora sealed the deal for the Pirates.
“The team has been working extra hard in the offseason,” said Coach Topex Robinson. “We missed Dexter last season because he got injured but now he is doing his role as one of the team’s leaders.”
The Pirates started strong and took the first half, 46-41. The Cardinals recovered and had their first hold of the lead thanks to a basket by reigning NCAA MVP and Rookie of the Year Allwell Oraeme, 47-46.
The celebration was short-lived though as Oraeme rolled his left ankle and returned at the five-minute mark of the fourth period. The Cardinals hung tough and kept the game tied entering the final period, 64-64.
Wilson Baltazar led the Pirates with 17 points and six rebounds. Mer Jesper Aya-ay had a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Biteng and Orquina topped Mapua with 16 points each and both sinking four triples. Another tall rookie, Kenneth Magboo, came off the bench to add 11 points to back up Oraeme who had 10 points and 24 rebounds.
How They Scored:
LYCEUM (91) – Baltazar 17, Aya-ay 15, Bulawan 13, Zamora 10, Gabayni 8, Alanes 8, Soliman 6, Alban 6, Malabanan 4, Magbuhos 3, Marata 1, Caduyac 0.
MAPUA TECH (82) – Biteng 16, Orquina 16, Magboo 11, Isit 10, Oraeme 10, Estrella 6, Victoria 5, Gamboa 4, Aguirre 2, Menina 2, Raflores 0.
Period Scores: 23-17, 46-41, 64-64, 91-82.