NOT even more than a week of postponement could stop Lyceum from clinching its best ever record in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
The Pirates repulsed College of St. Benilde, 66-54, on Monday in the resumption of their unfinished game last October 10 to surpass their best winning total in the country’s oldest collegiate league.
The victory was the fourth straight and eighth overall against 10 defeats for the Pirates, topping their previous mark in 2011 when they compiled a 7-11 win-loss card on the same season when they made their NCAA debut.
Despite missing the playoffs, the Pirates earned the reputation as the season’s giant-killer after becoming the only one to beat the Top 3 teams in the league in San Beda, Letran, and University of Perpetual Help.
“Nung sinabi namin na we’ll achieve our modest goal this season, hindi kami nagbibiro,” Pirates coach Bonnie Tan said.
Tan considers their latest win a “blessing” after seeing the Blazers erase their double-digit lead last October 10 when, in a rare occurrence in the NCAA, water, caused by heavy rains, leaked from the ceiling early in the third quarter, prompting the officials to postpone the rest of the game.
The Pirates, who were ahead, 32-31, with eight minutes and nine seconds remaining in the third quarter when the game was stopped, finished off the Blazers in the resumption.
The Blazers dropped their 12th game against five wins.
Dexter Zamora delivered on offense for the Pirates, tallying 21 points, including 10 in the payoff period, on top of six boards, and three assists, while Aziz Mbomiko anchored the team’s defense by coming up with 14 boards and two steals, together with 12 points and two assists.
Lyceum (66) -- Zamora 21, Mbomiko 12, Mendoza 10, Baltazar 9, Ko 7, Francisco 4, Ambohot 3, Azores 0, Soliman 0, Lacastesantos 0, Taladua 0, Alanes 0, Garcia 0, Lesmoras 0.
St. Benilde -- Bartolo 13, Romero 12, Grey 12, Taha 5, Jonson 4, Garcia 4, Nayve 2, Ongteco 2, Saavedra 0, Sinco 0, Argamino 0, Carlos 0, Mercado 0.
Quarterscores: 20-11; 32-23; 44-49; 66-54.