LYCEUM survived some turbulence late in the game and kept its immaculate record in the NCAA Season 93 after turning back a gutsy San Sebastian side, 78-73, on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
MJ Ayaay and Reymar Caduyac nailed some big shots to douse cold water on the Stags’ late uprising after seeing their 11-point lead disappear in a matter of minutes.
The Pirates were on the verge of breaking the game wide open when CJ Perez drained a three pointer with 6:44 left in the game to put them ahead, 70-59.
But Michael Calisaan and Allyn Bulanadi led an 11-2 run in the next five minutes to trim the Lyceum lead to just two, 72-70, with 1:44 left in the game.
Struggling the whole night, Caduyac scored an acrobatic lay-up to give the Pirates some breathing space before Ayaay drained a dagger three pointer to give the Pirates a 77-70 lead with 26 seconds left to go.
Ayaay scored 17 points, nine of which coming in the fourth quarter, to send the Stags to their second loss in three games.
“I guess it’s our perseverance and grit, we were just not giving up,” said Lyceum coach Topex Robinson.
“That was a tough game, they really gave us a run for our money, happy we got the win. It’s really them. Again, the credit goes to these players,” he added.
The Pirates remained the only unbeaten team in the league as they moved to 3-0 with the tough win.
Facing his former team, Perez overcame an eight-turnover night by pumping in 20 points, five rebounds and three assists to lead the Pirates anew.
Mike Nzesseu finished with a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds as Wilson Baltazar and JC Marcelino combined for 14 markers.
It was another heartbreaking loss for the Stags after going toe-to-toe with yet another contender only to lose in the endgame.
The Stags forced the Pirates to 28 turnovers but failed to capitalize on it as they only scored 10 points off Lyceum’s errors.
Calisaan scored 28 points and grabbed 12 boards to lead the Stags while Bulanadi chipped in 16 points and nine rebounds for his squad, who fell to 1-2
LPU 78 – Perez 20, Ayaay 17, Nzeusseu 10, Baltazar 7, Marcelino JC 7, Marcelino JV 6, Tansingco 5, Caduyac 4, Marata 2, Ibanez 0, Santos 0, Pretta 0
SAN SEBASTIAN 73 – Calisaan 28, Bulanadi 16, David 6, Ilagan 6, Gayosa 6, Valdez 5, Navarro 3, Calma 2, Capobres 1, Baetiong 0, Costelo 0, Mercado 0, Are 0
QUARTERSCORES: 23-17, 43-39, 63-55, 78-73