San Beda locks up the top spot, Lyceum and Perpetual get big wins

The San Beda Red Lions are once again going to finish the eliminations with the top spot. San Beda dominates the Mapua Cardinals, 83-55 to win their 16th straight game. With only two games left, no other team can catch-up to the Red Lions anymore. The Cardinals drop down to 7-8 with back-to-back losses.

James Kwekuteye led the team with 16 points on 55% shooting with 10 rebounds and three steals. Clavin Oftana puts up 15 points and seven rebounds. Evan Nelle once again led the offense of the team with 14 points and eight assists. Noah Lugo had 14 points for Mapua.

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The Cardinals were able to stick with the Red Lions in the first period, down by only three at the end of the period. But the San Beda blew the game wide open in the middle quarters. Oftana and AC Soberano powered the Red Lion offense in the second period with a combined 16 points. San Beda was able to build a double-digit lead after two quarters.

The Red Lions pulled away for good in the third period. San Beda’s defense turned on after halftime and shut down the Cardinals, limiting them to only nine points during that stretch. On offense, the Red Lions leaned on Kwekuteye who dropped seven points of his total in the third. Nelle added five points and several dimes as well. San Beda took a 22-point lead after the third and cruised to the win all the way to the end.

The Lyceum Pirates continue to gain separation from the third seed. They won their sixth straight win, knocking down the EAC Generals, 83-71. Lyceum rises up to 12-3, 2.5 games away from the third spot. EAC stays at the bottom at 3-12.

JC Marcelino powered the Pirates run in the fourth quarter, leading them to a big win. He finished with 23 points on 91% shooting. Mike Nzeusseu had 14 points and 16 rebounds. Reymar Caduyac added 10 points and six assists. Marwin Taiwan had 16 points to lead the Generals.

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The Generals were plucky as they stuck like glue to the Pirates in the game. Lyceum was able to build a double-digit lead midway through the game but EAC, led by Taiwan pulled to within three after the third period. They stayed close to Lyceum up to the seven-minute mark of the final quarter.

That was when Marcelino came alive. He exploded for 13 points in the third quarter, spearheading a Lyceum run to put the game away. Marcelino scored six straight points to power an 18-9 run that turned a three-point advantage into a 12-point win.

In the first game of the day, the Perpetual Altas added to the woes of the Benilde Blazers. Perpetual came back from a 15-point deficit to take down Benilde, 85-83. Perpetual avoids elimination with their fourth win in 14 games. Benilde loses their sixth straight game dropping to 6-8 for the season.

Kim Aurin dropped a career-high 29 points to lead the Altas. He also had 11 points. Jielo Razon added 15 points on 57% shooting. Three other Altas players got to double figures. Carlo Young scored 20 for the Blazers.

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Down by 15 midway through the game, Perpetual slowly chipped away at the lead to get back in the game. Aurin dropped 16 points in the third period to lead the comeback run, tying the game at 66 in the fourth period. The Altas carried the momentum from that comeback and engineered a 15-4 run to put the team up by nine. That lead was enough to hold off the Blazers’ own comeback attempt.