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Pirates storm Knights, annex 16th straight

Heavy Bomber Jed Mendoza goes up for a twinner over Stags Regille Ilagan and JM Calma.

MANILA, Philippines — CJ Perez dished out another MVP-like performance as Lyceum of the Philippines University rolled past Letran, 81-69, yesterday to move two wins away from sweeping its way straight to the finals in the 93rd NCAA seniors basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.

Perez knocked down perimeter jumpers, scored on difficult, twisting drives and anchored a couple of the Pirates’ fastbreak plays to finish with 24 points. He scored 10 in the last seven minutes, helping thwart every Knights rally to power LPU to its 16th win in a row, doubling its total number of wins last season.

The Pirates take on the third running Jose Rizal U Bombers on Oct. 13 before squaring off with the defending champion San Beda Lions on Oct. 19.

The Knights took their eighth loss against the same number of wins but still held on to No. 4 spot.

“It’s really nice to watch if you see your players having fun playing their hearts out,” said LPU coach Topex Robinson.

Perez’s back-to-back layups gave LPU a 79-66 lead with 43 seconds left in the contest.

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MJ Ayaay added 12 points, Mike Nzeusseu added 11 markers and hauled down 13 rebounds while JV Marcelino also chipped in 11 points.

Earlier, Jose Rizal hacked out a crucial 60-58 victory over Final Four contender San Sebastian to assure itself of a least a playoff for the last semis berth.

Cameroonian Abdel Poutouochi scored the go-ahead basket with 29.5 seconds while Jed Mendoza poured in six of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, including a charity that gave the Bombers a two-point cushion and eventually their 10th win against six losses as they firmed up their hold of the third spot.

JRU can gain an outright semis ticket with a victory in their last two games against also-ran Mapua on Tuesday and unbeaten Lyceum of the Phl U next week.

San Beda, meanwhile, primed up for its keenly awaited rematch with Lyceum as it trounced Emilio Aguinaldo College, 88-51, to post its 14th straight win and 15th overall in 16 outings.

The scores:

First Game

San Beda 88 – Soberano 17, Mocon 15, Tankoua 12, Abuda 10, Carino 8, Bolick 6, Tongco 6, Bahio 4, Noah 4, Presbitero 2, Adamos 2, Cabanag 2, Doliguez 0, Oftana 0

EAC 51 – Onwubere 22, Tampoc 8, Garcia 6, Pascua 5, Bugarin 5, Bautista 3, Mendoza I 2, Munsayac 0, Corilla 0, Mendoza J 0, Neri 0, Diego 0

Quarterscores: 26-11, 40-28, 60-34, 88-51

Second Game

JRU 60 – Grospe 14, Mendoza 14, Teodoro 11, Poutouochi 10, Sawat 6, Dela Virgen 3, Abdul Razak 2, Lasquety 0, David 0

San Sebastian 58 – Calisaan 15, Bulanadi 9, Calma 9, Ilagan 8, David 7, Navarro 3, Costelo 2, Baetiong 2, Capobres 2, Mercado 1, Gayosa 0, Are 0

Quarterscres: 22-17, 33-30, 46-45, 60-58

Third Game

LPU 81 – Perez 24, Ayaay 12, Nzeusseu 11, Marcelino JV 11, Santos 6, Marcelino JC 5, Caduyac 4, Baltazar 3, Liwag 3, Serrano 2, Ibanez 0, Tansingco 0, Cinco 0, Pretta 0, Marata 0

Letran 69 – Calvo 15, Quinto 13, Nambatac 12, Balagasay 9, Ambohot 8, Taladua 5, Balanza 4, Gedaria 2, Mandreza 1, Vacaro 0, Bernabe 0, Caralipio 0

Quarterscores: 29-20, 45-36, 64-54, 81-69

 

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