LYCEUM cemented its status as this season's giant-killers, completing a hat-trick of victories against the top three teams in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament with an 84-61 rout of Perpetual Help on Monday at The Arena in San Juan.
After stunning San Beda and Letran the last time, the Pirates ambushed the Altas, giving Lyceum something to cheer about in another trying season in the country’s oldest collegiate league.
The Pirates pounced on the listless Altas, jumping to a 23-7 first-quarter lead that stunned the crowd and practically determined the outcome of the match.
Mark Francisco registered 18 points and seven rebounds to lead the Pirates, who notched a fifth win in 15 games, while dealing the Altas their second straight loss and fifth overall against 11 wins.
The ninth-running Pirates actually have defeated the league’s top four teams as they beat fourth-running San Sebastian, 60-55, in the first round.
“From the start, we treat each game like a championship game,” Pirates coach Bonnie Tan said. “Hindi lang talaga kami manalo sa ibang teams, but we’re lucky we were able to pull through this one.”
Lyceum thus notched a fifth win in 15 games, while dealing Perpetual Help its second straight loss and fifth overall against 11 wins.
The Pirates pounced on the listless Altas, jumping to a 23-7 first-quarter lead that stunned the crowd and practically determined the outcome.
Mark Francisco left a major imprint in the Pirates’ early onslaught, firing 15 of his 18 points in the first half for the Intramuros-based squad, whose lead ballooned to 38 at one point, 73-36, after an Aziz Mbomiko free throw with one minute and 44 seconds left in third quarter.
“Nothing to lose kami,” said Tan, whose team’s Final Four fate is not in their hands. “We caught them by surprise at hindi na sila nakapag-adjust.”
LPU (84) – Francisco 18, Ko 17, Mbomiko 14, Baltazar 12, Zamora 10, Azores 8, Ambohot 3, Soliman 2, Mendoza 0, Lacastesantos 0, Taladua 0, Garcia 0
UPHSD (61) – Thompson 16, Omorogbe 9, Arboleda 9, Ylagan 6, Dizon 4, Paulino 3, Baloria 3, Bitoy 3, Oliveria 2, Bantayan 2, Alano 2, Jolangcob 2, Elopre 0, Lucente 0
Quarterscores: 23-7; 53-23; 75-41; 84-61.