A SHORTHANDED Lyceum team held off Jose Rizal University, 69-62, on Thursday night in a huge overtime upset that ended its two-month dry spell in the 88th NCAA men’s basketball tournament and dealt a major blow to the Bombers' Final Four aspirations.
Playing without six players who either served out suspensions or were dropped from the roster because of academic problems, the Pirates drew ample contribution from their role players as they snapped an eight-game skid and won for only the third time in 14 games.
While the victory did nothing more than soothe the Pirates' wounded pride, the loss came as a costly step backwards for the Bombers who were expected to win the match in a breeze.
Instead, the Bombers to a share of fourth place with Letran at 8-6.
“Masaya na malungkot,” said Pirates coach Bonnie Tan, whose squad bucked the absence of Chris Cayabyab, Rich Guevarra, Vence Laude, and Mark Francisco, who were all dropped from the roster due to academic deficiencies.
Shane Ko shone brightest for the already-eliminated Pirates as the starting point guard hit six of his 13 markers in the extra period of the Intramuros-based team's first victory since a 78-74 win against Mapua on July 12.
Backups Gian Mallari, Dexter Zamora, and Daniel Garcia also delivered for the Pirates, who were also without Arwin Azores (suspension) and Nelson Mendoza (sickness).
The Pirates led most part of the game, until the Bombers banked on a late run, capped by a Byron Villarias bank shot that forced overtime.
The Bombers drew first blood in overtime after John Lopez hit a free throw eight seconds into the extra session, but the Pirates used a 13-4 run to take the fight out of the Bombers.
“We just took advantage of the opportunity given to us,” Tan said.
LPU (69) – Mallari 15, Zamora 14, Ko 13, Garcia 9, Pascual 6, Edding 6, Martinez 4, Ambohot 2, Mendoza 0, Alanes 0
JRU (62) – Matute 15, Lopez 14, Villarias 13, Carampil 8, Mabulac 6, Mendoza 4, Monserat 2, Maconocido 0, Portre 0, Diapera 0, Dela Paz 0
Quarterscores: 20-11, 34-27, 44-42, 56-56(reg.), 69-62. (OT)