ZARK’S-LYCEUM overcame the early exit of CJ Perez to beat Centro Escolar University, 82-77, on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Center to advance into the semifinals of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.
Jayvee Marcelino and MJ Ayaay showed the way as the Jawbreakers overcame a six-point deficit after Perez fouled out of the game with still 4:54 left in the fourth.
Afetr Perez was called for his final foul, the Jawbreakers came away with a 10-0 run en route to the win.
Marcelino finished with 17 points, while Ayaay had 15 points. They combined for 13 points in the fourth quarter.
Ayaay’s back-to-back baskets off CEU turnovers tied the count at 74 before Reymar Caduyac and Jeric Serrano scored to give Zark’s a 78-74 lead.
Marcelino extended the lead, 80-75, with 34.3 seconds left.
It was another comeback for Zark’s-Lyceum, which forced a rubber match after coming back from seven points down in the third quarter of the quarterfinals opener.
Mike Nzeusseu had 12 points and 16 rebounds, while Jaycee Marcelino tallied 10 points, seven assists and three steals for Zark’s, which will face Marinerong Pilipino in the best-of-three semifinals beginning on Tuesday.
It was a frustrating day for Perez, who had eight points on 2 of 10 shooting and had and six rebounds.
“During halftime, I just reminded the players to just enjoy the game. Whatever happens, wala namang mamamatay pag natalo tayo. It gave them the freedom to play and I told them that missed shots are not turnovers. I told them to keep on grinding even if we make mistakes,” said Zark’s coach Topex Robinson.
Zark’s-Lyceum was down, 67-56, before rallying without Perez.
“CJ was our man. This game, it’s Ayaay, ‘yung kambal, and everybody. Everybody matters and everybody contributed. That’s the beauty of having a team that embraced the system that we try to implement. Hindi sila nasiraan ng loob,” said Robinson.
Rodrigue Ebondo had 22 points and 16 rebounds as CEU fell short despite being the third-seed in the quarterfinals.
Zark’s-LPU 82 - JV Marcelino 17, Ayaay 15, Nzeusseu 12, JC Marcelino 10, Perez 8, Tansingco 6, Caduyac 5, Serrano 4, Yong 3, Pretta 2, Ibanez 0, Liwag 0, Cinco 0.
CEU 77 - Ebondo 22, Aquino 16, Wamar 11, Guinitaran 10, Cruz 6, Fuentes 4, Caballero 3, Manlangit 3, Arim 2, CHan 0, Galinato 0, Intic 0, Veron 0.
Quarterscores: 15-30; 37-46; 56-65; 82-77.