DOWN big early, Lyceum showed the character of a true champion after scoring a 75-68 come-from-behind win over Letran in the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Center.
Mike Nzeusseu injected the energy in the fourth for the Pirates as they stormed back from a 37-20 deficit in the second quarter by outscoring the Knights 22-9 in the final period to remain unscathed after eight games.
Down by one with 4:56 to go, the Pirates went on a backbreaking 11-2 run led by Nzeusseu, who terrorized Letran on both ends.
A three by CJ Perez and six straight foul shots from Nzeusseu, Raymar Caduyac and MJ Ayaay gave the Pirates a 74-66 lead with 35.2 seconds to go and held on until the end.
"Unang una, before the game, we really talked about composure. Nilagay ko talaga yun sa board. I gave them situations prior to the game eh," said Lyceum assistant Jeff Perlas who stepped in for the suspended Topex Robinson.
“I'm just proud of these guys na hindi talaga sila sumuko. It's really a good test for us," he added.
Perez struggled from the field but still topscored for the Pirates with 14 points as Nzesseu finished with a double-double of 13 markers and 15 rebounds along with three blocked shots.
Rey Nambatac paced Letran with 16 points and six rebounds but his streak of four consecutive double-doubles ended.
The loss also stopped Letran's win run at four as they finished the first round at third place with a 5-4 record.
LPU 75 – Perez 14, Nzeusseu 13, Marcelino JC 13, Caduyac 12, Ayaay 7, Baltazar 5, Marcelino JV 4, Ibanez 4, Tansingco 2, Pretta 1, Marata 0
LETRAN 68 – Nambatac 16, Calvo 11, Quinto 10, Balanza 8, Balagasay 6, Mandreza 6, Taladua 5, Caralipio 4, Pascual 2, Gedaria 0, Vacaro 0, Bernabe 0
QUARTERSCORES: 18-26, 35-44, 53-59, 75-68