NCAA 95: San Sebastian's furious fightback from 19 points down frustrates LPU

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 08, 2019 04:16 PM
NCAA 95: San Sebastian's furious fightback frustrates LPU
(Photo by Josh Albelda)

An unlikely hero came up big for San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre, as it battled back from 19 points down before breaking the heart Lyceum of the Philippines University, 73-71, for its biggest win in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament.

Rookie Rommel Calahat hit the inside basket that proved to be the difference between the two teams and also hauled in the steal at the other end that cemented the comeback that improves the Golden Stags' standing to 9-6. "First of all, glory to God. Pangit yung start namin, but the boys showed character," head coach Egay Macaraya said post-game.

With the rally, Baste put more separation between it and both fifth-running and 7-8 College of St. Benilde and Mapua University. "Malaking bagay ito sa amin dahil we are fighting for our lives," he said.

At the same time, San Sebastian made sure the second-seed - as well as the twice-to-beat advantage it entails - remains up for grabs as a Pirate win would have locked that down for them.

Calahat made the big plays in the endgame, but he wouldn't have had the chance to do so if not for Allyn Bulanadi who fronted their fightback and totaled 28 points, seven rebounds, and two assists.

It was also Bulanadi who made the no-look inbound pass past an unaware Mike Nzeusseu to their unlikely hero for the game-winner with 21.6 ticks to go on the clock. "Nakita ko kasi, yung attention nila, na kay RK [Ilagan] at Capo [Alvin Capobres] so nag-eye-to-eye contact kami (ni Calahat) na parang sinabihan ko siyang gawan niya ng paraan," the lefty forward said.

LPU still had time to tie the tally, or even win the game outright, but JM Calma stood strong in the face of Reymar Caduyac's drive and the former forced the latter into losing the ball.

Calahat was at the right place at the right time again and claimed possession for his side and, not long after, they were celebrating back-to-back wins that are nothing but a big boost for their playoff push.

In the end, he had seven points and eight rebounds while RK Ilagan had 11 markers of his own.

Jaycee Marcelino showed the way for LPU with 21 points and six rebounds while Nzeusseu posted a 16-marker, 12-rebound double-double.

Failing to quell the Golden Stags' uprising, though, they fell to 12-4 and have been forced to wait until next game to clinch the second-seed.

BOX SCORES

SAN SEBASTIAN 73 - Bulanadi 28, Ilagan 11, Capobres 9, Calma 7, Villapando 7, Calahat 7, Tero 2, Loristo 2, Sumoda 0, Desoyo 0, Altamirano 0, Isidro 0.

LPU 71 - Jc. Marcelino 21, Nzeusseu 16, Santos 9, Caduyac 7, Jv. Marcelino 5, Tansingco 5, Ibanez 3, Navarro 3, Valdez 2, David 0, Yong 0, Pretta 0, Guinto 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 11-26, 33-43, 50-53, 73-71.

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