Lyceum eliminates Benilde, San Beda secures twice-to-beat advantage

LPU Pirates 77 – CSB Blazers 64

They Lyceum Pirates win over the Benilde Blazers cleared up the playoff picture in NCAA Season 94. At 15-2, the Pirates secure a twice-to-beat advantage in the next phase of competition. They also eliminate the Blazers from Final Four contention, knocking them back to 8-8.

The Pirates started the game on fire from beyond the arc. They got outside hits from Tosi Tansingco and Jaycee Marcelino to run out to a 9-2 lead. A surprise trey by Mike Nzeusseu put the Pirates up by double-digits at 12 points. Playing for their Final Four lives, the Blazers refused to back down.

Justin Gutang led a balanced offensive attack in the second quarter where he was joined by Yankie Haruna and Clement Leutcheu. Benilde also played excellent defense to limit Lyceum to only 11 points. That strong quarter from the Blazers allowed them to claw their way back, behind by only two points heading into the half.

Unfortunately, the Blazers couldn’t keep up the pace. They were held scoreless for nearly three minutes in the third period as Lyceum went on an 8-0 run to build another double-digit lead. CJ Perez, MJ Ayaay and Nzeusseu came alive in the third period to combine for 18 points.

With the game firmly in their control, Lyceum turned to veteran guard Reymar Caduyac for the strong finish. The Pirates weren’t threatened in the final period. Perez finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and four steals. Nzeusseu scored 13 and grabbed eight boards.

SBU Red Lions 90 – AU Chiefs 52

With a twice-to-beat advantage up for grabs, the San Beda Red Lions didn’t play around. They dominated the Arellano Chiefs from start to finish, winning their 15th game of the season and securing the key advantage heading to the Final Four.

Javee Mocon had a monster game. He had a big double-double with 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead the balanced Red Lion attack. Four other players scored at least eight points to power San Beda to the crucial win. Robert Bolick didn’t need an explosive performance in today’s game. He was happy to distribute the ball with nine assists.

Mocon set the tone for the game when he used his veteran moves to score 10 points in the opening period. That allowed San Beda to take a seven-point lead after the first quarter. The Red Lions then used used another strong defensive effort in the second quarter to put the game away. San Beda limited Arellano to just eight points in the second period. Their defense shut the Chiefs down, allowing them to take a double-digit lead heading into the half. Beda would increase that lead up to as much as 38 points in the second half.

The Red Lions won this game on the defensive end. They limited the Chiefs to just 36% shooting and only three treys in the game. They also forced 19 turnovers and allowed only six offensive rebounds.