LYCEUM lived up to its lofty billing heading into NCAA Season 93 after shocking defending champion San Beda, 96-91, on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Center.
CJ Perez and Raymar Caduyac took turns in blasting the stunned Red Lions as the Pirates claimed early leadership in the tournament with a 2-0 record.
With the game tied at 89, Perez put the Pirates ahead for good with a driving lay-up with 2:34 left in the game.
Caduyac then scored on back-to-back drives, the last one a lay-up which looked like he was just merely doing rounds to give the Pirates a 95-89 with 1:03 left in the game. Lyceum then locked down on defense to hold off San Beda and notch their first win against the Red Lions since Season 89.
"We're blessed to be here right now. To play San Beda, it takes a lot of grit and perseverance. It's not me. It's the players. Just blessed to have these players," said Lyceum coach Topex Robinson, who brushed off talks of being the early favorites.
"Nobody wins a championship the second game. Teams will start playing us harder. We just have to be always prepared and keep on being hungry," he added.
Perez had a fitting follow-up to his first game explosion as he scored a game-high 24 points.
Mike Nzesseu also had a huge game with 18 points and 13 rebounds, Caduyac made most of his damage in the second half with 16 markers while Jaycee Marcelino chipped in 14.
Robert Bolick led the Red Lions with 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists as Clint Doliguez continued his stellar play with 19 points anchored on five threes but that went for naught as the Lions fell to 1-1.
LPU 96 – Perez 24, Nzeusseu 18, Caduyac 16, Marcelino JC 14, Baltazar 9, Marcelino JV 7, Ayaay 4, Tansingco 2, Liwag 2, Santos 0, Ibanez 0, Pretta 0, Cinco 0
SAN BEDA 91 – Bolick 21, Doliguez 19, Soberano 12, Mocon 10, Noah 9, Presbitero 8, Potts 4, Bahio 4, Adamos 2, Tankoua 2, Carino 0, Tongco 0, Abuda 0
QUARTERSCORES: 24-18, 50-46, 73-75, 96-91