MANILA, Philippines – Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) outdueled Mapua in a bruising showdown and scored a 92-76 win on Tuesday, October 2, to move closer to snaring a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four of the 94th NCAA basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Pirates and Cardinals fouled each other a whopping 61 times including 6 technical fouls that resulted to a total of 54 foul shot attempts with each team making 19.
It escalated when LPU’s MJ Ayaay and Mapua’s Jasper Selanga got entangled late in the 3rd quarter that almost triggered a fight before game officials controlled the situation.
In end, LPU’s firepower and depth proved enough to clinch it its 14th win in 15 games and at least a playoff for a place in the top two and the twice-to-beat incentive that goes with it.
LPU will then battle Letran on Friday, St. Benilde on October 11 and defending champion San Beda on October 18 – all title or Final Four contenders – hoping to get that one win that will ensure it a place in the top two after the elimination round.
“It’s a good game for us to prepare for our last three tough games,” said LPU coach Topex Robinson.
Mapua slipped to 4-11 record.
Earlier, Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) survived a furious second half fightback by Arellano University (AU) and carved out a 78-70 victory to post its first streak of the season.
Jerome Garcia led the way with a game-high 25 points including three triples and spiked it with 6 rebounds and 5 assists while JP Magullano had a double-double with 15 points and 10 boards to power the Generals to their second straight win and 4th overall against 12 defeats.
“We want to finish the season strong,” said EAC head coach Ariel Sison, who has three games left in their schedule. “The good thing now is that were showing teamwork and I can see the desire in the players.”
EAC is already out of Final Four contention.
Garcia and Magullano set the tone early as the two combined for 30 points to match AU’s total after the first half when EAC led comfortably, 48-40.
Paced by Levi dela Cruz, the Chiefs tried to mount a serious rally but EAC’s Hamadou Laminou hit some baskets that quashed the uprising.
AU slipped to 4-10 and is out of the hunt.
EAC 78 – Garcia 25, Magullano 15, Laminou 14, Bautista 6, Neri 6, Bugarin 4, Mendoza 3, Gonzales 2, Tampoc 2, Corilla 1, Cadua 0, Diego 0.
Arellano 70 – Dela Cruz 15, Alban 14, Dela Torre 12, Concepcion 10, Alcoriza 6, Bayla 4, Canete 4, Sacramento 2, Ongolo Ongolo 1, Viloria 1, Segura 1, Sera Josef 0.
Quarterscores: 21-11, 48-30, 63-50, 78-70.
LPU 92 – Perez 20, Jc. Marcelino 14, Nzeusseu 12, Caduyac 8, Ayaay 7, Pretta 6, Ibanez 4, Santos 4, Tansingco 4, Yong 4, Lumbao 3, Cinco 2, Serrano 2, Valdez 2.
MU 76 – Bonifacio 17, Serrano 15, Bunag 13, Pelayo 13, Aguirre 10, Jabel 3, Salenga 3, Victoria 2, Gamboa 0, Lugo 0, Nieles 0.
Quarterscores: 21-17, 53-32, 73-60, 92-76.