LYCEUM locked up the second spot in the NCAA Season 95 seniors basketball tournament with a chippy 77-64 conquest over Jose Rizal University on Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Jaycee Marcelino had 23 points and five rebounds as the Pirates cemented their place in the semifinals with a 13-4 card, behind league leading San Beda (17-0).
Cameroonian big man Mike Nzeusseu added 15 points, 10 boards and two blocks, while Toci Tansingco shot 2-of-3 from downtown and finished with 10 points and three rebounds.
"It’s gonna be big for us to create momentum as we go to the stretch, kumbaga home stretch na ito ng season. Every opportunity for us to really learn and grow is gonna be big for us," said coach Topex Robinson.
JRU got to within, 57-64, with 4:27 remaining, before Raymar Caduyac and Marcelino scored big buckets to restore the lead to 12 points, 69-57, with 3:07 to play.
Robinson, however, did not hold back on what he felt were targeted hits on Nzeusseu as he called for better officiating, citing previous appeals which have gone on deaf ears.
"I’m really frustrated with the way the calls have been made. If they’re gonna be mad at me, so be it. I just wanna be out there and tell them they should improve their officiating. It’s destroying the essence of this game," he said.
Lyceum remains as the only hurdle in front of San Beda's quest for an elimination-round sweep as last year's finalists face off on Thursday.
JL Delos Santos led also-ran JRU with 19 points, six rebounds and three assists, while Ronnie Aguilar had 16 points and six boards in the defeat.
The Light Bombers suffered their fifth straight loss to drop to 4-12.
Lyceum 77 - Jc. Marcelino 23, Nzeusseu 15, Tansingco 10, Caduyac 9, David 6, Santos 6, Jv. Marcelino 5, Ibanez 3, Navarro 0, Yong 0, Remulla 0.
JRU 64 - Delos Santos 19, Aguilar 16, Miranda 10, Dela Rosa 9, Amores 6, Dionisio 2, Vasquez 2, Arenal 0, Jungco 0.
Quarterscores: 15-14; 43-33; 57-47; 77-64.