Just two days ago, Jose Rizal University head coach Vergel Meneses noted that he was envious that the student-athletes of Lyceum of the Philippines University were willing to die for their institution. And the Pirates made Meneses gush more as they trashed the Heavy Bombers, 100-63, Friday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
“We came to play. We came to honor the game and we will play how we always play. We are going to play the way we play even if it’s JRU or San Beda,” said fourth-year Pirates head coach Topex Robinson.
The win is Lyceum’s 17th straight, the best elimination round record set in league history. The 2010 San Beda Red Lions finished their elimination round campaign with a 16-0 slate, as the league had just eight teams back then.
Still, Robinson downplayed the feat, saying that the their mission is to win a championship, not to sweep.
“We look forward to our game against San Beda,” added Robinson, as the Pirates take on the Red Lions on Thursday, October 19 at 2:00pm, “It’s not our end goal and it’s just a sign that there will be more games to come.”
Though the Pirates’ attack on JRU was balanced, as all 15 Lyceans got a chance to showcase their stuff, it was still CJ Perez who stood above everyone else, finishing with 24 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and four steals.
“Lagi sinasabi ni coach na we have to honor the game,” shared Perez, who is a favorite to win this year’s MVP plum.
“You always want to be at your best. We discussed kasi before the game that we need to do our best. Whether we are up by 20 or down by 20, we will always play the same,” added Robinson.
With the third seed already locked up, Meneses decided to field in his entire roster in the game as well. It proved to be a wrong move, as the Pirates completely obliterated them at all fronts.
And the showcase continued to start the final frame. With Lyceum already up 70-53, Mike Nzeusseu and Perez threw down highlight-worthy dunks to “inspire” the Lyceum faithful in attendance.
The lead balooned to as high as 37 points, as Lyceum’s third-stringers still outclassed JRU’s.
“When they practice, they always practice that way. We compete against each other. Not to hurt them but to bring their best from each other,” shared Robinson.
Lloyd Castor led JRU with 12 points, while Teytey Teodoro and MJ Dela Virgen finished with 11 and 10 markers respectively.
JRU ended their elimination round campaign with an 11-7 slate. They will await the second-seed in the Final Four or the fourth-seed in the stepladder.
LPU 100 – Perez 24, Pretta 9, Tansingco 9, Caduyac 8, Marcelino JC 8, Santos 8, Marata 8, Marcelino JV 6, Serrano 6, Ayaay 4, Nzeusseu 4, Ibanez 4, Liwa 2, Baltazar 0, Cinco 0
JRU 63 – Castor 12, Teodoro 11, Dela Virgen 10, Poutouochi 8, Mendoza 8, Sibangan 4, Mariano 4, Grospe 4, Abdul Razak 2, Mate 0, Sawat 0, Pontejos 0, Bordon 0, Lasquety 0, David 0
Quarterscores: 24-18, 42-34, 68-53, 100-63