CEU escapes Lyceum in UCAL cagefest

CEU escapes Lyceum in UCAL cagefest
Daniel Marcel in action for CEU.

Games Thursday
(Paco Arena, Manila)

12 p.m. – MCU vs OC
2 p.m. – LPU-B vs UB

MANILA, Philippines – Centro Escolar University was held scoreless in the last four minutes but held on to beat Lyceum of the Philippines University, 72-69, in the Universities and Colleges Athletic League-PG Flex Linoleum Season 6 on Monday, February 12, at the Paco Arena in Manila.

The Pirates of Batangas looked headed to forcing an overtime after crawling their way back from a huge 14-point deficit at the halfway mark of the payoff period but failed to buy a basket in two occasions, including a desperate 3-point shot by Tristan Gad in the dying seconds.

The thrilling escape enabled the Scorpions to finish the first phase of elims with a 6-2 record, good enough to assure themselves a spot in the second phase where the top four finishers play another round and the first two placers earning bonuses in the knockout quarterfinal round.

Meantime, Philippine Christian University-Dasmariñas secured the No. 1 spot with a thrilling 84-81 win over University of the Batangas to with a 7-1 record.

Going for back-to-back titles, the Scorpions started tentatively and trailed the Pirates by 3, 39-36, at the half despite the splendid performances of the 5-foot-8 dynamo in Daniel Marcelo and Franz Ray Diaz.

The dynamic duo pressed their attack in the third with Marcelo coming through with a couple of jaw-dropping dunks that highlighted their offensive spurts that saw them outscore the Pirates, 22-14, to build a 58-53 lead going into the final quarter.

CEU padded its lead to 72-58 on Diaz’s basket with 5:28 remaining but suddenly went cold offensively allowing to Lyceum to a stage a comeback and make the game interesting to the delight of the crowd.

Marcelo led all scorers with 26 points apart from logging one assist and one rebound, while Diaz had a solid all-around performance of 23 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Alpha Bah produced another double-double of21 points and 13 rebounds for the Pirates who fell to 3-3, tying Diliman College for fifth to sixth places.

The fifth to 9th places, meantime, also play another round with the last placer going to be eliminated first.

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