NCAA: Other guys let LPU pull off great escape on JRU
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 07, 2018 02:01 PM
LPU had to come from behind to keep its spotless slate intact
Lyceum of the Philippines University was staring right at the sharp end of an upset ax with under seven minutes remaining on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
CJ Perez and MJ Ayaay weren’t going to let them suffer that fate, however, and fronted the 13-0 run that eventually ended as the Pirates’ 82-74 come-from-behind win at the expense of very game Jose Rizal University.
Perez and Ayaay set up the pivotal push, but Nino Ibanez and Jeric Serrano also helped in the heavy lifting in the Pirates’ 11th win a row in as many games in the NCAA 94 Men’s Basketball Tournament. “JRU played well, but we found a way to get back. Sometimes, you’re gonna have a bad day, but we’ll still take this win,” head coach Topex Robinson said post-game.
Indeed, JRU played well and even had a five-point lead with 6:54 remaining until two free throws from Ayaay and Perez set off 13 unanswered points that took the advantage in favor of their team, 76-68.
The Pirates would protect their edge for the remaining two and a half minutes and would prevent the upset ax from falling over their heads.
With that, they won their 29th consecutive victory in the elimination round dating back to last season.
In the end, Perez fired 30 points on top of 16 rebounds and three steals while Ayaay had 12 markers and seven boards to his name.
Ibanez and Serrano merged for eight points, seven rebounds, and six assists.
That was more than enough to overcome the absence of lead guard Jaycee Marcelino who was out with illness. “Jaycee is someone who could attack the defense, but it’s also an opportunity for the others to step up,” coach Topex said.
For the Heavy Bombers, MJ Dela Virgen topped the scoring column with 18 points while Darius Estrella and Jed Mendoza chipped in 15 and 14 markers, respectively. Running out of gas in the endgame, however, they fall to 2-9.
LPU 82 – Perez 30, Nzeusseu 14, Ayaay 12, Caduyac 9, Tansingco 5, Ibanez 4, Serrano 4, Marcelino JV 2, Yong 2, Santos 0, Pretta 0, Cinco 0
JRU 74 – Dela Virgen 18, Estrella 15, Mendoza 14, Mallari 11, Silvarez 6, Ramos 6, Esguerra 4, Padua 0, Miranda 0
QUARTER SCORES:18-19, 37-36, 56-58, 82-74
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