LYCEUM – After defeating Jose Rizal University with a score of 79-62 in the NCAA Season 98 Seniors Basketball Tournament on Wednesday at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City, Lyceum of the Philippines University earned its fourth victory in a row to extend its winning streak to five games.

The Pirates improved their record to 12-5, moving them to within striking distance of the College of Saint Benilde, who are currently winless in their competition.

The Heavy Bombers, on the other hand, were defeated for the fourth game in a row, moving them to a record of 6-10 and placing them in seventh place.

At the beginning of the overtime period, the Pirates had a lead of 12 points, 57-45. They then led a run of 10-2, which was completed off by an Enoch Valdez split free throw. This gave them a comfortable margin of 20 points, 67-47, with 8 minutes and 57 seconds remaining.

After that point, Lyceum never once considered turning around. When King Vinoya scored off of an assist from Vince Cunanan with 6 minutes and 16 seconds remaining in the game, it gave them their largest lead of the game, 74-49.

“We play our last game on Friday… I believe that this game will be a case of win or go home for us, seeing as how both Benilde and we want to be in the better slot, and everyone else wants it very strongly. So kumbaga, sino na lang ‘yung talagang gusto manalo, ‘yung mananalo on Friday,” said Pirates head coach Gilbert Malabanan.

“Very essential din sa amin ‘yung game na ‘yun. And I know, extremely essential din sa kanila ‘yung game na ‘yun kasi ‘pag nandun ka sa place na ‘yun… Medyo malaki ‘yung chances mo. Therefore, that is our second objective as a team, and we will work toward achieving it,” he continued.

The Pirates scored 40 points and shot 69.0 percent from the field thanks to their dominance in the paint.

After making contact with Joshua Guiab’s hands inside the paint following a rebound with 4:12 left in the game, Vinoya picked up his fifth and final foul and was ejected from the game.

When the Heavy Bombers’ Mark Joson attempted to block Valdez at the 8:30 mark of the overtime period, he committed a foul and was ejected from the game.

Valdez finished with a game-high 21 points, going perfect (8 for 8) from the two-point line for a perfect shooting percentage of 88.9 percent. In addition to that, he contributed seven rebounds, three assists, a block, and a steal.

John Barba and Vinoya both chipped in with 10 points, two rebounds, and an assist, while Vinoya added 11 points, two assists, and two rebounds to the team total. Along with his five points and four rebounds, Omar Larupay led the team in total rebounds with 11.

The only two players on the Heavy Bombers to score in double figures were Jason Tan and Ry Dela Rosa, who each had 11 and 12 points, respectively, to lead the team in scoring. The first player grabbed four boards and handed out three assists, while the second player added two boards and four assists to their stat line.

The match against College of St. Benilde, which will take place on Friday at three o’clock, is up next for Lyceum. On the other side, JRU will attempt to regain their footing by competing against San Beda University on Saturday at the same time.

The Standings:

Lyceum 79 — Valdez 21, Vinoya 11, Barba 10, Umali 9, Guadana 9, Penafiel 6, Larupay 5, Garro 3, Aviles 3, Montano 2, Cunanan 0, Villegas 0, Bravo 0, Culanay 0, Omandac 0.

JRU 62 — Tan 12, Dela Rosa 11, Dionisio 8, Guiab 7, Medina 6, Mercado 5, Miranda 4, Abaoag 3, Arenal 2, De Jesus 2, Joson 2, Villarin 0.

Quarterscores: 22-14, 41-33, 57-45, 79-62.

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