LYCEUM of the Philippines exacted sweet revenge over NAASCU champion Centro Escolar University, 75-62, to clinch third seed in the 2014 MBL Open basketball championship at the Lumera gym in Legarda, Manila.
Two days after losing to the Scorpions in their Filoil Premier Cup quarterfinal showdown, the Pirates came up with a dominant performance from start to finish to seal their fourth win in six outings at the close of the elimination round in this tough, seven-team tournament supported by Smart Sports, Ironcon Builders, Dickies Underwear, PRC Couriers and Zucchero Cafe.
John Arwin Azores played a solid, all-around game for the Pirates, scoring 15 points while providing a strong defensive presence in the paint to limit the Scorpions’ production.
Four other mainstays -- Shaq Alanes, Wilson Baltazar, Tirso Lesmoras, and Andrei Mendoza -- also provided ample scoring support for the Pirates, coached by Bonnie Tan, as they hope to make an impression before the start of the NCAA Season 90 later this month.
Alanes added 13 points, including three triples in a strong third-quarter run by the Pirates.
The win enabled Lyceum to set up a knockout showdown against No. 6 seed St. Dominic College of Asia.
CEU, on the other hand, will meet No. 4 seed Our Lady of Fatima University in another knockout encounter.
The winner of the Fatima-CEU match will earn the right to meet top seed Sea Lions, while the victor of the Lyceum-St. Dominic encounter will face No. 2 Wang’s Ballclub in the semis.
Meanwhile, MBL chairman Alex Wang announces the suspension of Wang’s Ballclub coach Pablo Lucas for “unsportsmanlike conduct“ during the team's heart-breaking 80-81 loss to Sea Lions recently.
Lucas assaulted the referee and vehemently protested the outcome of the match, claiming ex-PBA player Egay Billones’ buzzer-beating three-point shot came after the final buzzer.
Officials, however, ruled that there was enough time when Billones made the game-winning triple after receiving the ball with 1.3 seconds left.
Wang said he made the decision to suspend Pablo after consultation with league officials.
“The MBL will not tolerate such action regardless of who committed the offense. The league, as a whole, flourished because of our commitment to fair play and sportsmanship,” said Wang.
Lyceum ( 75) -- Azores 15, Alanes 13, Baltazar 11, Lesmoras 10, Mendoza 9, Evangelista 7, Lacastesantos 7, Taladua 3.
CEU (62) -- Saber 13, Silverie 8, Aquino 8, Aranas 6, Labiste 6, Aqim 5, Cruz 5, Malubay 4, Gastador 3, Dizon 2, De Leon 1, Alvendia 1.
Quarterscores: 17-8; 33-31; 54-41; 75-62.