Lyceum has not lost in its last 25 elimination round games - and the rest of the NCAA knew it.
That’s why after hulking Letran took defending champion San Beda to the distance in their overtime loss a week ago, the Knights knew they had a shot at beating the Pirates in their next game.
Come last Friday, though, MJ Ayaay just shot that hope down.
With Lyceum down 65-76 in the final 6:06 of their contest, the graduating forward steered the Pirates’ ship away from a wreck by scoring six of his season-high 20 points in that same frame.
Along with top star CJ Perez, Ayaay led the Season 93 finalists in turning an 11-point hole into an 85-81 win that clinched for them their 26th straight in the elimination round and eighth in a row for Season 94.
The Lyceum captain also added four rebounds and two steals off the bench en route to being named the Chooks-to-Go NCAA Press Corps Player of the Week.
Prior to this eruption, he was just averaging 7.7 points a game on a 32 percent clip.
And so, he and his team went back to the basics.
“Ramdam na ramdam namin yung mga ibang team na gusto kaming talunin,” Ayaay shared. “Sabi ko lang sa kanila, enjoy lang. The past few games kami hindi na kami nag-iismile. Feeling namin palagi pagod kami at nakokontento kami. Kailangan lang namin i-enjoy yung laro.”
The Pirate senior bested Perpetual’s Kim Aurin, San Beda’s Javee Mocon, JRU’s Jed Mendoza, and St. Benilde’s Justin Gutang for the weekly award.