LYCEUM overwhelmed Jose Rizal University with a huge second-half surge, 96-75, in an auspicious debut in the NCAA Season 93 seniors basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
CJ Perez finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds in his official LPU debut in the NCAA in leading the Pirates to the lopsided victory.
The Pirates proved their mettle as one of the title favorites for this season as their transition offense and solid defense led to 53 points in the second half.
LPU even led by as many as 30 points in the contest.
"Obviously, it's a good output," said LPU coach Topex Robinson. "But again, you don't win a championship sa first game. You have to try to get better."
Perez played his first game back in the NCAA after suiting up for San Sebastian three years ago, before transferring to Ateneo and ending up in Lyceum late last year.
The impressive performance comes at a perfect time as the Pirates will take on reigning NCAA champion San Beda on Friday in a potential finals preview.
"We are going to face the number one team right now. We are just excited and glad that we got this victory," said Robinson.
Mike Nzeusseu had 13 points, while Mer Ayaay quietly made his mark by finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Pirates, who stepped on the gas after a 24-5 run in the fourth quarter.
Jed Mendoza paced the Heavy Bombers with 18 points and six assists but his effort was not enough for the Heavy Bombers to avoid losing their season opener.
LPU (96) - Perez 22, Nzeusseu 13, Ayaay 11, JV Marcelino 9, Ibanez 9, Tansingco 8, Baltazar 7, Caduyac 5, JC Marcelino 4, Santos 3, Pretta 3, Serrano 2, Cinco 0, Liwag 0.
JRU (75) - Mendoza 18, Grospe 15, Teodoro 13, Poutouochi 13, Dela Virgen 4, Abdul Razak 3, Castor 3, Bordon 2, Mate 2, Sawat 2, Lasquety 0, David 0.
Quarters: 27-18, 43-37, 68-54, 96-75.