Red Lions pounce on Perez-less Pirates to win Game 1 of the NCAA Finals

SBU Red Lions 73 – LPU Pirates 60 (Red Lions take a 1-0 lead)

With CJay Perez suspended for the first game of the Season 94 Finals, the Lyceum Pirates couldn’t keep up with the firepower of the San Beda Red Lions.

Perez was suspended for Game 1 of the NCAA Finals for failing to inform the league of his application to join the PBA Draft. The league denied Lyceum’s appeal and the Pirates had to play without their MVP.

The Red Lions didn’t relax knowing Perez was out of the game. Their big stars continued to step up and play their games. Javee Mocon dominated the mid range with 14 points and 10 boards. Robert Bolick controlled the team with nine assists to go along with his 12 points. Donald Tankoua was a mountain in the middle with 10 points and 16 boards.

Without Perez to lead the way, Lyceum’s offense looked lost and fell prey to the Red Lions’ strong defensive effort. The team only managed to score 22 points in the first half as they were throwing bricks or turnovers. For the game, Lyceum was limited to just 39% shooting. They also threw the ball away 19 times.

The Red Lions jumped out to a 19-9 first quarter lead and never looked back. The San Beda superstars weren’t the only ones who made their presence felt. In the second period, Clint Doliguez and Jeramer Cabanag combined for 16 of the Red Lions’ 24 points to build a 21-point lead heading into the half.

Mocon and Bolick kept the team ahead in the third period when the Pirates finally found their footing. Mocon dropped half of his total output in the third quarter while Bolick added five points to spearhead the San Beda attack.

Lyceum made a run in the final period, cutting the deficit down to just 10 points behind the efforts of Mike Nzeusseu and the Marcelino Twins. But the lead was just too big to overcome.

Lyceum now has a week to lick their wounds and welcome their superstar back. The Red Lions are looking to close out the series in Game 2 next Monday.