PASAY CITY – It will be Colegio de San Juan de Letran challenging defending champion San Beda University for the 95th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Seniors Basketball crown after they ended the season of Lyceum of the Philippines University, 92-88, at the Cuneta Astrodome Friday. The best of three titular series between the two archrivals will begin this Tuesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Letran unloaded 10 unanswered points capped by a Jerrick Balanza three-point play to erect their biggest lead of the contest, 84-72, and 5:24 remaining. The Pirates though proved to be a tough nut to crack as they managed to rally and come to within three after back to back field goals by Jaycee Marcelino with 24 ticks left on the clock, 87-90.
After a wild sequence, King Caralipio issued an assist to Larry Muyang for the insurance basket, 92-87, and 18 seconds to play. The Pirates began to miss their hurried shots as Mike Harry Nzeusseu could only come up with a free throw to peg the final count.
Fran Yu powered the Knights with 20 points, five rebounds and six assists. Muyang followed with 19 points and nine rebounds while Edson Batiller chipped in 13 points, six rebounds and six assists.
Marcelino topped Lyceum with 26 points. Nzeusseu marked his NCAA farewell game with19 points and 15 rebounds.
Meanwhile, LPU-Cavite advanced to the finals of the Juniors Division for the very first time in school history after they disposed of San Sebastian College, 78-76, for the right to play early finalist San Beda-Rizal on Tuesday. John Ronald Barba powered the Junior Pirates with 36 points in only 28 minutes of play while Mclaude Guadana added 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
How They Scored:
LETRAN (92) – Yu 20, Muyang 19, Batiller 13, Balanza 11, Reyson 6, Sangalang 5, Mina 5, Ular 4, Balagasay 4, Javillonar 2, Caralipio 2, Ambohot 1, Olivario 0.
LYCEUM (88) – JC Marcelino 26, Nzeusseu 19, David 11, Caduyac 5, JV Marcelino 5, Tansingco 4, Ibanez 4, Remulla 4, Santos 3, Guinto 2, Valdez 0.
Period Scores: 20-26, 44-40, 67-66, 92-88.
LYCEUM-CAVITE (78) – Barba 36, Guadana 14, Montano 10, Omandac 7, Panganiban 6, Garing 3, Ragasa 2, Gamlanga 0, Gudmalin 0, Caduyac 0, Caringal 0, Garro 0, Dejelo 0, Santos 0.
SAN SEBASTIAN (76) – Darbin 18, Bulasa 15, Aguilar 14, Janao 9, Barroga 6, Are 6, Una 4, Perez 2, Concha 2, Lustina 0, Brizo 0.
Period Scores: 18-20, 37-44, 56-54, 78-76.