Perez wills LPU into statement victory vs San Beda

Perez wills LPU into statement victory vs San Beda
LEGIT. CJ Perez and LPU showed why they are considered championship contenders - at the expense of San Beda, no less.

With Franz Abuda’s body in front of him and Javee Mocon’s arms all over him, CJ Perez was still able to make magic happen on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Perez’s short stab fronted the pivotal push that allowed Lyceum of the Philippines University to down defending champion San Beda College, 96-91.

Behind a 7-2 spurt to close the contest, the Pirates got for themselves a big-time win only two games into the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament. “Again, we’re just blessed to be here,” head coach Topex Robinson said post-game.

The Intramuros-based squad now stands alone atop the leaderboard with a 2-0 record a year after finishing ninth.

Without a doubt, Perez has delivered the difference in firing a game-high 24 points.

It was also his make through the good defense of Abuda and Mocon that turned the tides for good in favor of LPU. “To play against San Beda, it’s gonna take a lot of grit,” Robinson said.

From there, second-year guard Reymar Caduyac took over and had back-to-back hits for a 95-89 lead with 63 ticks to go. “He’s really been helping us. He just bailed us out with a solid performance,” Robinson expressed.

Javee Mocon inched the Red Lions to just four points behind, but the Pirate defense stood strong and allowed no more baskets as Jaycee Marcelino’s split from the stripe hammered down the final nail in the coffin.

Caduyac wound up with 16 points and seven assists while Marcelino chipped in 14 points and six rebounds.

Mike Nzeusseu provided the much-needed inside presence and pounded in 18 points and 13 rebounds.

At the other end, Jayvee Marcelino, Jaycee’s twin, also made a name for himself by making Robert Bolick work hard all throughout. “We know Bolick may score 30 so our focus was on the supporting cast of Bolick,” Robinson explained.

The King Lion still had 21 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, but was a non-factor in the endgame as he only had two point in the final frame.

Reserve Clint Doliguez added 19 points and seven rebounds for San Beda which, uncharacteristically, got dominated in the paint, 28-50.

After an undefeated run in the 2017 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament, the defending champions suffered their first setback in two games.

BOX SCORES

LPU 96 – Perez 24, Nzeusseu 18, Caduyac 16, Marcelino JC 14, Baltazar 9, Marcelino JV 7, Ayaay 4, Tansingco 2, Liwag 2, Santos 0, Ibanez 0, Pretta 0, Cinco 0

SAN BEDA 91 – Bolick 21, Doliguez 19, Soberano 12, Mocon 10, Noah 9, Presbitero 8, Potts 4, Bahio 4, Adamos 2, Tankoua 2, Carino 0, Tongco 0, Abuda 0

QUARTER SCORES: 24-18, 50-46, 73-75, 96-91

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