The Pirates will tackle the fourth seed from Group A in the quarterfinals set next week.
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Pirates top group play; Knights advance
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - June 11, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Lyceum of the Philippines University eliminated National University, 71-68, to clinch the top spot in Group B even as Letran trounced St. Benilde, 72-64, to barge into the quarterfinals of the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup at the Flying V Centre in San Juan City yesterday.

Jaycee Marcelino and Ralph Tansingco fired 11 points apiece while Niño Ibañez chipped in 10 to fill the vacuum in the absence of key player Mike Nzeusseu  as LPU finished on top of Group B with a 6-1 (win-loss) record.

The Pirates will tackle the fourth seed from Group A in the quarterfinals set next week.

“The goal was not to specifically top our group but to learn in each game,” said LPU coach Topex Robinson.

The Bulldogs reeled to their third defeat against the same number of wins, and moved out of contention regardless of the result of their game versus the Adamson Falcons on Thursday.

The Knights, for the part, went to rookie Ato Ular, who exploded for a game-high 18 points as they officially booked a spot in the playoff round after finishing the prelims with a 5-2 card.

The Blazers bid the tourney goodbye with a 1-6 mark.

Playing minus Jerrick Balanza, who rested a sore ankle, the Knights hardly felt the absence of their leader and dominated from start to finish.

And Letran coach Boni Tan liked what he saw.

“There is still room for improvement but we’re slowly but surely getting to be the team that we want to become,” said Tan.

In non-bearing games earlier, the UST Tigers routed the Mapua Cardinals, 91-67, and the Centro Escolar U Scorpions dumped the Arellano U Chiefs, 75-57.

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