San Beda and Lyceum strengthen hold on top spots, EAC gets back-to-back wins

Make that 15 straight for the San Beda Red Lions. They started out strong and finished off their rivals, the Letran Knights, 75-63 to remain undefeated in Season 95. The Knights remain at third but drop their sixth game against nine wins.

Calvin Oftana led the Red Lions in scoring with 16 points on 50% shooting. Clint Doliguez had 13 points while Evan Nelle contributed 12 points and seven assists. Larry Muyang had 13 points and five boards for Letran.

The Red Lions came out of the gate roaring, jumping out to an early 17-1 run as Doliguez, Nelle and James Kwekuteye led the attack. The Knights were able to recover and get to within eight after the first period. Letran continued to chip away at the lead, finally tying the count early in the third period.

That was Nelle and Oftana came alive. Nelle orchestrated the offense that Oftana led with his scoring. Oftana finished with nine points during that stretch, as San Beda jumped out to a 20-0 run. That turned a tie ballgame into a blowout as the Red Lions cruised all the way to the end for the win.

The Lyceum Pirates continue to pull away with the second seed. They drop fellow Final Four contender, the Mapua Cardinals, 77-71 to win their 11th game against three losses. With this loss the Cardinals end their winning run at four and drop to 7-7.

The Marcelinos activated their twin attack in the game to power the win. JC led the way for Lyceum with 14 points, five rebounds and two steals. JV had 10 points on 58% shooting. Mike Nzeusseu scored 13 and grabbed 13 boards in the win. Justin Serrano led Mapua with 17 points.

The Cardinals looked poised to take the win early in the game, jumping out to a six-point lead behind the scoring of Laurenz Victoria. The Pirates settled down in the middle quarters and were able to shut down Mapua’s attack. JC Marcelino and Spencer Pretta combined for 14 points in the third period to build a nine-point lead heading to the final period.

In the fourth quarter, Serrano came alive for the Cardinals. He scored 14 points in the final period, leading Mapua back on top by one. That was when the Marcelinos came alive. The twins scored six points in a game-changing 13-2 blast that put them ahead by 10. The Pirates were able to fend off the Cardinals in the final minute of the game.

In the first game, the EAC Generals win back-to-back games, taking down the Perpetual Altas, 80-76. The General win their third straight game for a 3-11 record. The Altas stay slightly above the Generals at 3-10.

Jet Mendoza led the Generals with 22 points while Kriss Gurtiza scored 13. JP Maguliano had nine points and 11 rebounds to help EAC’s cause. Rey Peralta led the Altas with 21 points.

Down by six midway through the period, the Generals engineered a comeback to get back in the game. Up by three with less than three minutes left, Mendoza rained home a triple, off an assist by Marwin Taiwan, to put the Generals up by six.

The Altas cut the deficit down to just three with a little over a minute left. The Generals got another big score from Marwin Taiwan who broke down his defender for a score in the paint to put his team up by five. Taiwan was responsible for the dagger as he drove into the lane and dumped off a pass to JC Luciano to seal the win.