LYCEUM nearly blew an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter but hung tough in the end as it upended Ateneo, 90-89, in the Filoil Flying V Premier Preseason Cup on Monday at The Arena in San Juan.
Playing big offensively all game long, the Pirates had to rely on defense in the endgame as they made big stops down the stretch to squeak out the hard earned win.
Leading by 11 with 6:50 to go in the fourth, the Pirates saw Mike Nieto catch fire and drain three treys in to put the Blue Eagles back in the ballgame.
Nieto's last triple with a minute and 12 seconds left trimmed the lead to one, but the Pirates buckled down defensively to escape Ateneo's gallant fight back.
"We were lucky down the stretch, our players simply did not give up," said Lyceum coach Topex Robinson.
"We know how good coach Tab is, I'm learning a lot from him. For me, this is an experience that will sharpen us," he added.
CJay Perez had a decent outing against his former team as he had 13 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
New faces delivered for the Pirates, with Jaycee Marcelino led the way in scoring with 14, his twin brother Jayvee chipped in 11 while transferees Ralph Tansingco and Spencer Pretta finished with 11 and 10 respectively.
Nieto led the way for the Blue Eagles with 17 points and eight boards while Thirdy Ravena added 14 points and eight boards in the loss.
Lyceum 90 - Jc. Marcelino 14, Perez 13, Ayaay 13, Tansingco 12, Jv. Marcelino 11, Pretta 10, Caduyac 6, Baltazar 3, Ibanez 2, Nzeusseu 2, Santos 2, Marata 2, Serrano 0, Cinco 0, Liwag 0, Pallares 0.
Ateneo 89 - Mi. Nieto 17, Ravena 14, Ikeh 13, Asistio 13, Ma. Nieto 8, Verano 5, Mendoza 5, Tolentino 3, Tio 3, Wong 3, Mamuyac 3, Porter 2, Black 0, Go 0, Ildefonso 0, White 0.
Quartersores: 22-14; 42-39; 69-61; 90-89.