Ayaay saves Pirates from Knights
Mark Escarlote on Aug 18, 2016 06:35 PM
Lyceum's MJ Ayaay brought the defending champion Letran Knights down on their knees with a clutch basket.
MJ Ayaay took matters into his own hands with a heroic game-winning basket in the last three seconds to save Lyceum of the Philippines University from revenge-seeking defending champion Letran Knights, 68-66, Thursday in the 92nd NCAA Seniors basketball competition at The Arena in San Juan.
Tied at 66 after a split from the foul line by Edcor Marata under the 30-second mark, Ayaay evaded three defenders from the left side of the court with a contested hard drive to the right for the game-winner.
Ayaay waxed-hot in the fourth quarter with 12 points to finish with 16 markers as the Pirates joined their victim and Jose Rizal University in a three-way tie at 5-5 win-loss record just a win away from no. 4 team Mapua (6-4).
Wilson Baltazar top scored for 16 points, Shaq Alanes had nine while Cameroonian import Mike Nzeusseu, who saw limited minutes because of a back problem, posted six points and grabbed 13 rebounds for LPU, which crawled out of a 63-53 midway in the fourth period.
“We just fought and slugged it out against one of the best teams and they’re the defending champions and it just says a lot about our character. We were down by 10 with just four minutes, we could’ve just rolled down and find excuses not to compete and we’re just focused in making stops and I think those were crucial,” said Pirates coach Topex Robinson, whose squad scored its second straight win after back-to-back losses.
Rey Nambatac finished with 24 points while Jom Sollano had 19 markers for the Knights, who failed to avenge their 75-72 loss to LPU in the first round.
LPU (68) - Baltazar 18, Ayaay 16, Alanes 9, Nzeusseu 6, Caduyac 5, Gabayni 4, Marata 4, Alban 2, Serafico 2, Magbuhos 2, Soliman 0.
CSJL (66) - Nambatac 24, Sollano 19, Ambohot 8, Quinto 7, Balanza 5, Calvo 3, Apreku 0, Balagasay 0, Dela Peña 0, Luib 0.
Quarterscores: 11-20, 37-41, 51-57, 68-66
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