Chiefs' loss to Pirates forces playoff for No. 1
By Joey Villar Updated Thursday October 09, 2014 - 12:00am

Games tomorrow

12 noon - Mapua vs San Beda (Jrs)

2 p.m. - Jose Rizal vs Perpetual Help (Srs)

4 p.m. - San Beda vs Arellano U (Srs)

MANILA, Philippines - Lyceum turned back Arellano U in a high-scoring duel, 101-96, to send the Chiefs into a playoff with the San Beda Red Lions for the top spot in the Final Four of the NCAA men's basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan yesterday.

Joseph Gabayni came through with 22 points and 17 rebounds to help propel the Pirates past the Chiefs and close out with a 7-11 mark.

Lyceum also denied Arellano the top seeding in the semis as the Chiefs dropped into a tie for first with the Lions at 13-5, necessitating a playoff for the No. 1 spot.

Perpetual Help and Jose Rizal U also ended up with 12-6 cards for joint third with the Altas and the Bombers disputing No. 3 in a pair of playoffs tomorrow.

The No. 1 team will play the No. 4 squad while the No. 2 will slug it out with the No. 3 in the semis with the Chiefs and the Lions enjoying twice-to-beat edge for taking the top two spots after the double-round elims.

Earlier, Letran played the spoiler's role as it dragged St. Benilde out of the Final Four with a 64-57 victory.

Playing pressure-free throughout, the Knights pounced on a tight St. Benilde side and dominated early, storming to a 17-point lead in the second quarter then surviving  the Blazers' fightbacks to end the season with a 9-9 record.

"We just want to go out with a win and salvage some measure of pride," said Letran coach Caloy Garcia.

The Blazers thus missed forcing a playoff for the last semis seat and finished at fifth with an 11-7 mark.

Garcia offered the win to their graduating players Reneford Ruaya and Jamil Gabawan, who led the Muralla-based squad's charge with 14 and 13 points, respectively.

"This win is for them, we want them to play their final NCAA game with a victory," said Garcia.

Garcia said he was happy of his team's performance specifically in the second round where it won six games.

"Although we missed the Final Four this year, we had six wins in the second round," said Garcia.

After trailing by as many as 17 points, the Blazers rallied behind the high-scoring duo of Mark Romero and Juan Paolo Taha.

Romero's free throws with over a minute to go cut St. Benilde's deficit to just two points, 57-59, but Rey Nambatac, Cruz and Rey Publico combined for all of Letran's last five points to frustrate the Blazers.

The scores:

First Game

Letran 64 - Ruaya 14, Gabawan 13, Publico 9, Cruz 8, Nambatac 8, Saldua 6, Calvo 4, Apreku 2, Tambeling 0, Luib 0, Quinto 0, Singontiko 0

St. Benilde 57 - Romero 20, Taha 12, Grey 9, Sinco 5, Bartolo 4, Saavedra 3, Ongteco 3, Nayve 1, Argamino 0, Altamirano 0

Quarterscores: 26-12; 41-27; 53-44; 64-57

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AU Chiefs 13 4
SBC Red Lions 13 5
UPHSD Altas 12 6
JRU Heavy Bombers 12 6
CSB Blazers 11 6
CSJL Knights 8 9
LPU Pirates 6 11
SSC Stags 5 13
MIT Cardinals 4 14
EAC Generals 4 14


Wednesday, October 8, 2014 @ San Juan Arena
12:00 PM - Game 1 - Jrs/Srs
4:00 PM - Game 2 - Srs/Jrs