LYCEUM overpowered Polytechnic University of the Philippines, 79-56, even as Our Lady of Fatima University shocked the erstwhile unbeaten Sea Lions, 87-61, in the 2014 MBL Open basketball championship at the Lyceum gym in Intramuros, Manila.
Shane Ko scored 10 of his team-high 18 points in the first quarter for the Pirates, who kept the Stars in check with a rock-solid defense en route to their third win in five matches in this seven-team tournament sponsored by Smart Sports, Ironcon Builders, Dickies Underwear, PRC Couriers and Zucchero Cafe.
Ko, one of the Pirates' most dependable scorers during the NCAA Season 89, had back-to-back three-point shots during the Pirates' decisive breakaway against Stars.
Ghed Ong, Jeremiah Taladua, Dexter Zamora, Tirso Lesmoras and Paul John Soliman also delivered for the Pirates, who established several double-digit leads in their second straight dominant performance after consecutive losses to Wang's Ballclub and the Sea Lions.
Michael Are carried the fight for the Buboy Rodriguez-mentored Stars with a game-high 27 points, but Jayson Bondoc, PUP's most prolific scorer in the last three games, was held to only four points by Lyceum's double-teaming defense.
Overshadowed by Lyceum's third win was Fatima, which pounced on an undermanned Sea Lions to clinch their second win in four matches.
Paul John Pineda scored all his 18 points in the second quarter, including 12 from the three-point area, to power the Phoenix of athletic director Pepe Santos and coach Ralph Emerson Rivera to a smashing victory over a Sea Lions side loaded with former pros.
Lervin Flores added 14 points and John Allen Cruz contributed 11 points for Fatima, which is competing in the tournament as part of its annual pre-season buildup.
Former PBA player Egay Billones scattered 23 points and Ricky Ricafuente added 15 points for Sea Lions, which failed to get going while playing minus ex-pros Gilbert Malabanan, and Niño Marquez, import Jimmy Brown and several key mainstays.
Ex-Globalport Batang Pier standout Angelus Raymundo was limited to only nine points for the Sea Lions, who dropped to 3-1.
Meanwhile, action resumes Friday with the Sea Lions battling newcomer St. Dominic College of Asia in the lone game at 6 p.m. at the Lyceum gym.
LYCEUM (79) – Ko 18, Ong 12, Taladua 9, Zamora 8, Lesmoras 7, Soliman 6, Lacastesantos 4, Evangelista 4, Lacap 4, Alanes 3, Baltazar 2, Ambohot 2, Natividad 0
PUP (56) – Are 27, Navor 7, Santos 5, Bondoc 4, Martinez 4, Almadin 4, Sta. Maria 2, Aboamame 2, Mandem 1, Mangulabnan 0, Perez 0, Flores 0
Quarterscores: 19-15, 35-27, 62-43, 79-56
FATIMA (87) – Pineda 18, Flores 14, Cruz 11, Gallardo 9, Mallari 8, Marquez 7, Cabrera 6, Datu 6, Coronacion 4, Del Rosario 3, Matignas 1, Jimenez 0, Villalon 0
SEA LIONS (61)– Billones 23, Ricafuente 15, Maconocido 14, Raymundo 9, Reyes 0, Villaruel 0, Laron 0, Siruna 0
Quarterscores: 24-3, 52-17, 65-36, 87-61