LPU runs roughshod on Letran to rush into NCAA 94 Finals
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 26, 2018 03:31 PM
LPU left no doubt in disposing Letran en route to a second straight Finals
Lyceum of the Philippines will be vying for the championship for the second straight season in the 94th NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The Pirates officially booked a return trip to the Finals after running away from and then gunning down Colegio de San Juan de Letran, 109-85, on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Head coach Topex Robinson got contributions from up and down the lineup in their first-ever Final Four game in history.
However, it wasn’t until Knights’ court general JP Calvo went down with an injury that LPU broke free.
Calvo suffered an apparent left leg injury early in the third.
Still, Letran was able to rally around him for a while as Koy Galvelo’s corner three actually granted them their first lead of the game, 56-55, at the 6:05 mark of the quarter.
It was at that point, however, that the Pirates exploited Calvo’s absence and put their opponents in a pressure cooker. From there, they went on a 15-0 tear built on turnover points for a 70-56 edge.
The Knights would never recover from that point as main man Bong Quinto was also shackled down.
In the end, Mike Nzeusseu topped the scoring column for LPU with a 23-point, 17-rebound double-double while CJ Perez made a mark all over with 19 markers, five boards, four steals, and three assists.
Jaycee Marcelino and Spencer Pretta also added 15 points apiece as second-seed LPU aced its first-ever test in the playoffs.
They now turn their attention to either defending champion San Beda University or upstart University of Perpetual Help in the Finals.
For Letran, Larry Muyang showed the way with 21-point, 12-rebound double-double. Quinto, playing in his last game, struggled for his standards with just 12 markers in 6-of-17 shooting from the field to go along with seven assists and six boards.
Calvo, also graduating, scored nine points in just 19 minutes of play. Without him there, his team was unable to replicate its sinking of the Pirates in the second round.
LPU 109 — Nzeusseu 23, Perez 19, Marcelino JC 15, Pretta 15, Ayaay 11, Santos 9, Caduyac 8, Tansingco 3, Ibanez 2, Serrano 2, Yong 2, Cinco 0, Lumbao 0, Marcelino JV 0, Valdez 0
LETRAN 85 — Muyang 21, Quinto 12, Fajarito 11, Taladua 10, Ambohot 9, Calvo 9, Batiller 6, Celis 4, Galvelo 3, Agbong 0, Mandreza 0, Yu 0, Pambid 0
QUARTER SCORES: 29-16, 51-47, 81-64, 109-85
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