Pirates rip Blazers, gain 7th win in row

Pirates rip Blazers, gain 7th win in row

Clement Leutcheu of St. Benilde foils a shot by CJ Perez of Lyceum in their NCAA game yesterday at the San Juan Arena. Joey Mendoza

MANILA, Philippines — Its streak in peril again, Lyceum of the Philippines University went to its defense and stopped St. Benilde, 77-65, to stretch its run to seven in the 94th NCAA seniors basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan yesterday.


The Pirates shackled and held the Blazers scoreless late in the third period while scoring 13 points of their own to turn a four-point deficit into a nine-point lead entering the fourth quarter on their way to the 12-point victory.


They moved two wins from sweeping the first round elims for the second straight year.


“We want to show our opponents that we’re more focused on defense rather than outscoring them,” said LPU coach Topex Robinson, whose wards came into the match at No. 4 in points allowed at 76.


CJ Perez turned in another superb all-around game with 22 points, 12 rebounds and five steals while Cameroonian Mike Nzeusseu backed him up with 16 points, 13 caroms and five shot blocks.


Their double-digit victory didn’t actually reflect how the Pirates struggled against a fired-up Blazers side, which kept the game close in the first two quarters before seizing control at 43-39 with less than four minutes to go in the third period.


But Perez took charge and provided the firepower again and the rest backed him up with a pesky defense that broke several St. Benilde plays and forced the Blazers to take low percentage shots.


St. Benilde slipped to 2-4.


Earlier, San Sebastian sacked RK Ilagan for the rest of the first round but the Stags still routed the Mapua Cardinals, 94-70, for a 3-1 card.


Ilagan is being investigated for allegedly playing in other leagues.


Alvin Capobres stepped up in his absence, unleashing a career-high 21 points, including 17 in the first half when the Stags started to break away.


The Cardinals also fell to 2-4.


In the nightcap, Letran pounded Arellano U, 88-70, to stay at third with a 4-1 mark. The Chiefs fell to 2-3.


The scores:


First Game


San Sebastian 94 – Capobres 21, Bulanadi 14, Desoyo 12, Calma 11, Valdez 9, Calisaan 8, Isidro 7, Dela Cruz 7, Sumoda 4, Arciaga 1, Villapando 0, Are 0, Baytan 0


Mapua 70 – Pelayo 15, Victoria 13, Bunag 8, Bonifacio 7, Jabel 7, Lugo 7, Gamboa 7, Biteng 3, Carandang 3, Aguirre 0, Serrano 0, Garcia 0, Salenga 0, Bautista 0


Quarterscores: 24-16, 41-40, 70-53, 94-70


Second Game


LPU 77 – Perez 22, Nzeusseu 16, Marcelino JC 14, Ayaay 11, Caduyac 6, Marcelino JV 5, Pretta 3, Tansingco 0, Serrano 0, Ibanez 0, Cinco 0, Santos 0, Valdez 0, Yong 0


CSB 65 – Gutang 13, Dixon 13, Haruna 12, Leutcheu 8, Pasturan 8, Young 7, Carlos 4, Naboa 0, Velasco 0, Domingo 0, Belgica 0


Quarterscores: 20-21, 34-31, 56-51, 77-65


Third Game


Letran 88 – Muyang 16, Balanza 14, Calvo 13, Quinto 11, Fajarito 11, Batiller 11, Ambohot 8, Mandreza 2, Agbong 2, Balagasay 0, Taladua 0, Yu 0, Celis 0


Arellano U 70 – Canete 23, Alcoriza 13, Dela Cruz 11, Alban 8, Villoria 7, Concepcion 6, Dela Torre 2, Sera Josef 0, Ongolo Ongolo 0, Santos 0, Bayla 0, Sacramento 0, Codinera 0, Segura 0


Quarterscores: 16-17; 37-36; 66-55; 88-70