Perez makes sure Pirates still can’t be sunk now at 15-0
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 29, 2017 06:37 PM
NOT TODAY. CJ Perez made sure that his former team was not giving his current team its first taste of defeat.
San Sebastian College-Recoletos was giving Lyceum of the Philippines University all it can handle on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
With CJ Perez’s career-best offense and MJ Ayaay’s consistent defense, however, the Pirates still can’t be sunk.
Scoring nine of his 28 points in the final frame, Perez spearheaded LPU’s charge right through the Golden Stags for a 78-73 decision that keeps their spotless slate intact in the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The versatile forward also tallied 10 rebounds and four steals to see his crew sail to a still league-leading 15-0. “For us, we just want to keep inspiring,” head coach Topex Robinson said post-game.
That is the second-best start to the season in the history of the oldest collegiate league in the country.
Without a doubt, LPU had to work for everything in this one as they found themselves trailing by three, 43-46, late in the third. “We really had to be mentally tough,” Robinson said.
It was at that point that Ayaay’s steal to score punctuated the 14-3 run that put them ahead, 57-49.
Baste again threatened at 73-74 inside the last two minutes before the Pirate defense stood strong and allowed no more makes. “Sa defense lang talaga namin kinukuha yung opensa namin,” Perez expressed.
Mike Nzeusseu’s free throws coupled with Jaycee Marcelino’s inside basket then sealed the deal for Robinson’s crew.
In the end, Ayaay, Nzeusseu, and Marcelino all had 11 points to their names.
LPU is now three wins away from an elimination round sweep that would automatically advance them into the Finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage.
Indeed, the road isn’t getting easier for them as their next three matchups are against Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Jose Rizal University, and San Beda College.
The same goes for San Sebastian which falls out of the Final Four picture now at 7-7 – now behind third-running and 8-6 JRU and fourth-running and 8-7 Letran.
Allyn Bulanadi led them in the losing effort with 19 points and eight rebounds.
LPU 78 – Perez 28, Ayaay 11, Marcelino JC 11, Nzeusseu 11, Pretta 6, Marcelino JV 5, Ibanez 3, Srrano 2, Caduyac 1, Cinco 0, Baltazar 0, Tansingco 0
SAN SEBASTIAN 73 – Bulanadi 19, Calisaan 13, David 9, Navarro 9, Ilagan 9, Costelo 6, Baetiong 4, Baytan 3, Mercado 1, Calma 0, Are 0, Valdez 0
QUARTER SCORES: 18-7, 33-27, 52-49, 78-73
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