LPU gets back at San Beda, gets hands on first PCCL crown

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 15, 2018 07:36 PM
LPU gets back at San Beda, gets hands on first PCCL crown
Jaycee Marcelino was on the loose for LPU without Robert Bolick there to do anything about it

Just like each and every one of their battles in the NCAA a year ago, Lyceum of the Philippines University and San Beda University went toe-to-toe in the Finals of the 2018 Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL).

In the end of this one, however, it was the Pirates who got big shots from their lead guard to edge out the Red Lions, 70-66, in another classic contest on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Jaycee Marcelino poured in seven of his 19 points in the last seven minutes to push the upstarts from Intamuros all the way to the mountaintop of the annual tournament of the country’s best collegiate teams.

The Red Lions actually had a three-point edge at the onset of the final frame until Spencer Pretta and Nino Ibanez dropped back-to-back bombs to snatch away the advantage in favor of LPU.

Marcelino then took matters into his own hands from there and had all but one in a 6-0 run that, all of a sudden, granted his team their biggest lead of the game, 66-58, inside the last five minutes.

Of course, the NCAA champions weren’t going away that easy and Donald Tankoua pulled them to within 66-68 with six ticks to go on the clock.

Pretta proved clutch, though, and made good on both of his charities when he was sent to the line.

Three seconds later, the Pirates were celebrating their first-ever PCCL title.

All of it wouldn’t have been possible without their lead guard who also had nine rebounds, three steals, and two assists.

Of course, it had to help that San Beda didn’t have Robert Bolick, still out with a knee injury, to bring the big shots and put up stout defense on Marcelino.

Still, LPU also didn’t get the best of games from ace scorer CJ Perez who only had eight points on 4-of-17 shooting to go along with 13 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one block.

Cameroonian reinforcement Mike Nzeusseu contributed a 16-point, 11-rebound double-double to help the Pirates improve to 3-2 in their head-to-head matchups with their newfound rival since last NCAA season.

The win is also much-welcome morale boost for them after they went 18-0 in the elimination round only to see San Beda deal them back-to-back defeats for the NCAA championship.

Javee Mocon paced the Red Lions with 24 points and eight rebounds while Tankoua had 13 points and 15 boards of his own.

Without “Big Shot Bolick” to turn to in the endgame, however, they fall to the opponent again seen to be their biggest threats for the next NCAA season.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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