DE LA Salle defeated hard-fighting Lyceum, 70-64, in a highly physical encounter marred by a near fracas that emptied both benches on Friday in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at The Arena in San Juan.
The Green Archers remained unbeaten in Group B with a 4-0 win-loss record, but not after being made to sweat by the Pirates in a close game that nearly degenerated into a melee in the fourth quarter.
La Salle’s Gab Reyes was fouled hard by Lyceum’s Jerimiah Taladua that led to several players clearing the bench at the 3:40 mark of the fourth and the Green Archers up, 63-56.
Taladua was called for an unsportsmanlike foul, while Norbert Torres was also called with the same infraction for shoving a Lyceum player. A technical foul was also called on La Salle’s bench.
John Azores, Shaq Alanes, and Wilson Baltazar of Lyceum, and Arnold Van Opstal, Robert Bolick, and Matt Salem of La Salle were all thrown out for leaving the bench during the fracas.
La Salle coach Gee Abanilla admitted that they were caught off-guard by the physicality.
“I think we didn’t come into the game prepared mentally, and it showed,” Abanilla said. “They (Lyceum) played physical and they are fighters. This is a new kind of team that we faced today, and I hope that we learned from this.”
Jeron Teng had 19 points, while Torres had 10 points for the Green Archers, who made only 37 of their 56 free throws. Jason Perkins had nine points and 13 rebounds.
Dexter Zamora finished with 18 points, as Tirso Lesmoras added 15 points for Lyceum, which remained winless in three games.
De La Salle (70) – Teng 19, N. Torres 10, Perkins 9, T. Torres 8, G. Reyes 7, Van Opstal 5, Tampus 4, Montalbo 2, Bolick 2, Paredes 2, Salem 2, Dela Paz 0, Andrada 0.
Lyceum (64) – Zamora 18, Lesmoras 15, Azores 7, Taladua 6, Edora 6, Alanes 6, Soliman 4, Francisco 2, Evangelista 0, Garcia 0, Lacastesantos 0, Ambohot 0.
Quarterscores: 13-7; 31-26; 48-47; 70-64.