Pirates rebound, rout Chiefs

Pirates rebound, rout Chiefs

Red Lion Jeramer Cabanag elbows his way between Stags RK Ilagan (left) and Allyn Bulanadi in their NCAA game yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Center.
Jun Mendoza

Gain playoff for last semis seat

MANILA, Philippines — Lyceum of the Philippines University dumped Arellano University as it posted a 113-79 victory yesterday to assure itself of at least a playoff for the last semifinal berth in the 94th NCAA seniors basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.

JC Marcelino went eight-of-11 from the field and finished with 21 points, leading five other teammates in double figures as the Pirates pounced on the hapless Chiefs to rebound from their 81-83 loss to the Perpetual Help Altas that spoiled their bid for an elims sweep for the second straight year.

But the victory over Arellano has clinched LPU at least a playoff for a Final Four seat on a 13-1 card.

San Beda later matched LPU’s record with an 82-75 victory over San Sebastian, beating the Stags in an endgame shootout that likewise guaranteed the Lions of a playoff for a semis spot.

The Lions and the Stags slugged it out in a three-point shootout in the second half with JV Mocon and Robert Bolick delivering the goods for the defending champions in the clutch.

With SSC’s Allyn Bulanadi sizzling from the long range in the second half, San Beda turned to Bolick and Mocon to end the Stags’ three-game run while stretching their own streak to seven for a 13-1 slate.

The Stags actually surged ahead at 65-54 on Bulanadi’s fifth triple but Bolick countered before Mocon drilled in back-to-back triples to give the Red Lions an 82-72 lead with 1:52 remaining.

“I really salute San Sebastian for playing well. Bulanadi can shoot anywhere, (RK) Ilagan and (Michael) Calisaan is a force. We really focused on those three guys,” said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez.

Mocon finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and four assists while Bolick added 18 points, four boards and four assists.

Donald Tankoua had a double-double of 16 points and 14 rebounds while James Canlas had 10 points off the bench.

“It’s a reminder that we should honor the game by giving our best,” said LPU coach Topex Robinson.

Also finishing with double-digit scores were MJ Ayaay (16), Spencer Pretta (15), Reymar Caduyac (13), Jeff Santos (11) and reigning MVP CJ Perez, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds but fell an assist short from posting his first triple-double effort.

So impressive was LPU’s bounce-back win that it set multiple season records in most points scored (113), most three-pointers made (14), most assists (27), most fast break points (34) and most bench points (81).

Its bench points outscored the whole AU squad.

The Chiefs slipped to their fourth straight defeat and ninth overall against four wins.

LPU came into the match reeling from that painful loss to Perpetual Help.

Robinson, however, found a way to shift his wards’ attention to other things, having the whole team do charity work with children with Down Syndrome.

“There’s so much more to winning and losing in basketball games, happy to be part of their day,” said Robinson.