AYAAY LIFTS PIRATES TO 12TH STRAIGHT WIN
JESPER AYAAY’S late game heroics powered Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) to a come-from-behind 94-92 victory over Arellano University (AU) in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 93 basketball tournament on Friday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan City.
Ayaay posted five straight points in the crucial stretch, including a putback with 7.4 seconds remaining that gave the Pirates a 93-91 lead, as they muscled their way from 14 points down in the fourth period en route to their 12th straight win.
“We just kept on playing and grinding it out,” said Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson.
Team captain Ayaay sizzled with 20 points on top of 10 rebounds, Mike Nzeusseu came through with 17 markers and 11 boards while Reymar Caduyac added 15 points as they all filled the void left by main man CJ Perez, who scored 14 points before fouling out with two minutes left in the game.
“This was just a testament that this is not CJ’s team. We can win without him,” said Robinson.
Kent Salado tallied a game-high 24 points while Lervin Flores put up 15 markers on top of with 11 rebounds as the Chiefs skidded to a 4-7 win-loss record, threatening their bid to enter the Final Four.
Arellano dominated the middle quarters and even posted a huge 7763 lead on Salado’s free throws early in the final frame.
Salado drained a triple at the 4:18 mark that seemed to be the finishing blow, giving the Chiefs an 87- 74 cushion.
But Ayaay and Perez joined forces to ignite a 14-0 blast for the Pirates to snatch the lead, 88-87, with 2:02 remaining.
Perez left the court in the next play after committing his fifth foul as Ayaay took charge in the dying seconds to keep Lyceum unbeaten.
Meanwhile, College of St. Benilde (CSB) made sure to post a convincing win this time against University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (UPHSD) with an 8355 demolition of the Altas.
Dixon exploded anew with 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting clip while Clement Leutcheu and Carlo Young contributed 14 markers apiece for St. Benilde, which prevailed over Perpetual in the first round with a 20-0 decision due to the Altas’ mistake of wearing a wrong uniform.
With the win, the TY Tangmentored team improved to 3-9.
Keith Pido topscored for Perpetual with only nine points and Most Valuable Player top candidate Prince Eze was reduced to a measly six markers but managed to collect 16 rebounds for the Las Piñas-based squad, which slid to 4-7.
In the final game, San Beda College (SBC) toppled San Sebastian College-Recoletos (SSC-R), 76-65; to solidify its hold of the second spot with its 10th consecutive win.
The Red Lions hiked their card to 111 while the Golden Stags slid to 5-6.
Jesper Ayaay (No. 25) of Lyceum of the Philippines University tries to shoot past Lervin Flores (No. 26) of Arellano University during their second round game in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 93 basketball tournament on Friday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan City.