SAN JUAN City – Lyceum of the Philippines ended its first round schedule on a high by downing defending champion Colegio de San Juan de Letran, 75-72, at the 92nd National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) games Friday (August 5) at the San Juan Arena. The win gives the Pirates good momentum entering the second round while staying within striking range of the leaders with a 4-5 win-loss card.
Continuing from his good first half that saw him hit 10 points, Reymar Caduyac hit crucial free throws in the waning seconds to preserve the win amidst the Knights’ spirited rally. Rey Nambatac hit two straight triples to threaten with 12 seconds to go, 72-73, but Caduyac quickly countered with two charities for the final count.
Letran had a chance to force overtime but Lyceum had two fouls to give up and stall the Knights’ play. In the game’s final possession, McJour Luib fired an off-balanced triple that missed and Mike Harry Nzeusseu grabbed the defensive rebound at the buzzer to trigger the Pirates’ celebration.
Lyceum led by as much as 13 markers late in the third period, 53-40, on an Nzeusseu field goal. “We will celebrate this win but there is a lot of basketball still to be played and Letran will surely want to get back at us in the second round,” said winning coach Topex Robinson.
Nzeusseu added another double-double to his list with 17 points and 15 rebounds. Caduyac also had 17 points.
Nambatac led Letran with 22 points. Jerrick Balanza followed with 14 while Luib added 11 as the Knights dropped to 5-3 for a share of fourth place with idle Mapua Institute of Technology.
How They Scored:
LYCEUM (75) – Nzeusseu 17, Caduyac 17, Aya-ay 12, Baltazar 10, Alanes 6, Magbuhos 5, Gabayni 4, Soliman 2, Marata 2, Alban 0, Serafica 0.
LETRAN (72) – Nambatac 22, Balanza 14, Luib 11, Sollano 7, Apreku 6, Calvo 5, Quinto 5, Ambohot 2, Bernabe 0, de la Pena 0, Balagasay 0.
Period Scores: 20-14, 39-34, 55-47, 75-72,