Pirates still peerless
Lyceum sets up key duel vs San Beda with rout of JRU
As the last Final Four berth remained up for grabs, the Lyceum Pirates kept themselves a cut above the rest in NCAA Season 93.
The Pirates put on another superb offensive display with a 100-63 demolition of the Jose Rizal U Heavy Bombers to move within a victory of an elimination-round sweep at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
CJ Perez, who finished with 24 points, soared for a one-handed dunk off an alley-hoop, moments after Mike Nzeusseu delivered a windmill slam in the early moments of the fourth period, punctuating another dominant performance by the Pirates against the third seed in the Final Four.
But the last member of the Final Four cast has yet to be deter- mined after Letran failed to get the job done against San Beda, 7368, while San Sebastian kept its end of the deal with an emphatic 97-70 win against Mapua.
San Beda, which can still enter the playoffs as the top seed, is now the last hurdle that Lyceum has to overcome to seal a huge edge for its championship hopes.
If the Lions fail to stop the Pirates’ pillage of the NCAA field, Lyceum will automatically earn a berth to the championship, leaving the three other Final Four schools to go through a stepladder series for the other title berth.
Lyceum will also have a thrice-to-beat edge against the stepladder survivor in the championship series.
Playoff matches loom in the race for No. 4 after the Knights fell into a three-team tie with the Stags and the Arellano Chiefs for fourth spot with identical 8-9 records.
Letran, Arellano and San Sebastian will play different teams on the final week of the elimination round, setting up the possibility of a threeway tie at 9-9. The Pirates refused to pull their punches against one of the league’s best defensive teams, pulling away in the second period to match its win total from the previous three seasons.
“We came to play,” said Lyceum coach Topex Robinson. “We came to honor the game and we will play how we always play.”
CJ Perez (right) and Lyceum will continue their chase for a playoff bonus against San Beda on Thursday.