Caracut, Rivero step up in overtime as La Salle cools down Lyceum in Premier Cup
Andrei Caracut made the big baskets for La Salle come crunch time. Dante Peralta

LA SALLE rolled with the punches to finally outlast a gritty Lyceum side, 121-119 in a pulsating overtime thriller in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup on Friday in San Juan. 

Andrei Caracut and Ricci Rivero came through with big baskets in overtime to cap the Green Archers' comeback from a 15-point deficit heading to the fourth quarter. 

With Ben Mbala out of the game in the overtime due to fouls, it was Rivero who jumpstarted La Salle's offense after trading baskets with star wingman CJ Perez. 

Caracut, subbing for Aljun Melecio, then drained back-to-back threes to give the Archers a 121-117 cushion with 1:28 left in the game. 

CJ Perez drained a contested jumper with 53 seconds left to pull Lyceum closer and the Pirates forced a jump ball in the next play, but Perez and Jasper Ayaay missed close shots as time expired. 

"We were given a dose of our medicine. Kung anong ginawa namin, ganun ang ginawa sa amin," said La Salle coach Aldin Ayo. 

"Nag-pick up kami sa latter part pero nung first half and start ng third, kulang yung effort. I always tell my boys the best way to counter effort, is to exert more effort," he added. 

Rivero led La Salle with 23 points while Mbala had 19 points and 17 rebounds. 

Melecio also finished with 19, Kib Montalbo had 16 while Caracut finished with 14 markers for the Archers, who improved to 3-1. 

Perez led the Pirates with 25 points but went just 10-27 from the floor. Ayaay added 22 points and 11 rebounds as Lyceum lost for the first time in four games.

The scores:

LA SALLE 121 - Rivero 23, Mbala 19, Melecio 19, Santillan 17, Montalbo 16,  Caracut 14, Baltazar 6, Tratter 5, Gonzales 2, Go 0

LYCEUM 119 - Perez 25, Ayaay 22, Nzeusse 18, Caduyac 14, JV Marcelino 13, JC Marcelino 8, Baltazar 8, Tansingco 6, Santos 3, Marata 2, Ibanez 0, Serrano 0, Liwanag 0

Quarters: 27-32; 48-52; 72-87; 107-107; (OT) 121-119

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