LYCEUM kept itself in the mix for a top two spot in the NCAA Season 98 Final Four after waylaying Jose Rizal University, 79-62, on Wednesday at Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
Enoch Valdez led the way with 21 points, seven rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block as the Pirates put away their third straight win and rose to a 12-5 card.
Mavrick Vinoya added 11 points, two boards, and two dimes, with his bucket at the 6:11 mark giving LPU a 25-point lead, 74-49.
Ato Barba chipped in 10 points, Mac Guadana shot 3-of-6 from deep for his nine points, and Omar Larupay grabbed 11 rebounds to go with his five points in the victory.
The Pirates hardly missed the presence of lead guard Renzo Navarro who served his one-game ban for his ejection in that last game against San Sebastian.
LPU now shifts its attention to its final game against St. Benilde on Friday, where a win will assure it of at least a playoff for one of the two twice-to-beat incentives.
"It will be a do-or-die game for us because Nenilde and us want to be on a better spot and everybody wants it badly," said coach Gilbert Malabanan as his side looks forward to that last assignment.
JRU stumbled to its fourth straight defeat and fell to 6-10 even after it welcomed back William Sy after his three-game suspension in the fallout of the John Amores incident.
Jason Tan paced the Heavy Bombers with 12 points, four boards, and three assists, while Ry dela Rosa got 11 points, four dimes, and two boards in the loss.
LPU 79 - Valdez 21, Vinoya 11, Barba 10, Umali 9, Guadana 9, Penafiel 6, Larupay 5, Garro 3, Aviles 3, Montano 2, Cunanan 0, Villegas 0, Bravo 0, Culanay 0, Omandac 0.
JRU 62 - Tan 12, Dela Rosa 11, Dionisio 8, Guiab 7, Medina 6, Mercado 5, Miranda 4, Abaoag 3, Arenal 2, De Jesus 2, Joson 2, Villarin 0.
Quarters: 22-14, 41-33, 57-45, 79-62.