LPU scores big-time victory versus defending champion Letran

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 05, 2016 02:35 PM
LPU scores big-time victory versus defending champion Letran
STATEMENT. LPU looks to be for real following an upset of defending champion Letran.

It’s looking more and more like what Lyceum of the Philippines University has found in the NCAA 92 Men’s Basketball Tournament is no fool’s gold.

Rey Nambatac made things interesting, but the Pirates proved they had more than enough to put away defending champion Colegio de San Juan de Letran, 75-72, on Friday at the San Juan Arena.

Clinging onto an eight-point lead inside the last two minutes, LPU witnessed Nambatac catch fire all of a sudden. The lead Knight had for himself a personal 8-1 run to pull his team to within 72-73 with 12 seconds to go.

Splitting his free throws just a possession earlier, rookie Reymar Caduyac was again sent to the stripe. He converted both charities this time around and increased the Pirate lead to three.

With one last shot to tie the tally, Nambatac was crowded by Louie Magbuhos and Shaq Alanes and had to give up the ball to Mcjour Luib. Luib himself was well-defended and his last heave had a good line, but fell short of the ring.

In taking down the defending champions, LPU barged back into the win column. “It’s reality that we’re still 4-5 and we still have long ways to go. As much as we want to celebrate this, there’s more basketball to be played,” he said.

It was the Knights who actually got off to a good start with six unanswered points before Caduyac came out of nowhere to ignite nine points in a 20-8 blast that pushed LPU ahead, 20-14. He wound up with a career-high 17 points.

Jesper Ayaay added an all-around stat line of 12 points, seven rebounds, and six assists while Harry Nzeusseu was his usual dominant self with a 17-point, 15-rebound double-double.

Meanwhile, Letran dropped to 5-3 despite the best efforts of Nambatac who had 23 points to his name. He struggled from the field, however, and only made seven of his 19 shots.

BOX SCORES

LPU 75 – Nzeusseu 17, Caduyac 17, Ayaay 12, Baltazar 10, Alanes 6, Magbuhos 5, Gabayni 4, Soliman 2, Marata 2, Alban 0, Serafico 0

LETRAN 72 – Nambatac 22, Balanza 14, Luib 11, Sollano 7, Apreku 6, Calvo 5, Quinto 5, Ambohot 2, Bernabe 0, Dela Pena 0, Balagasay 0

QUARTER SCORES: 20-14, 39-34, 55-47, 75-72

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