Lyceum couldn’t have picked a better way to send shock waves in the NCAA men’s basketball competition.
Aggressive throughout, the Pirates pulled off a shocking 70-66 victory over defending champion San Beda last night at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Shane Ko fired 23 points, grabbed six rebounds and three assists to carry the Pirates, who prevailed over the Lions for the first time since joining the league in 2011.
Ko iced the game with 6.7 seconds remaining by hitting two free throws to restore a four-point cushion after the Lions battled back from a 50-65 deficit in the last seven minutes.
The Lions showed signs of vulnerability in the 71-70 triumph over St. Benilde last Saturday and the Pirates came up with a relentless game right from the start for the wire-to-wire victory.
“It’s always nice to see the hard work of the players pay off with this victory,” said Lyceum coach Bonnie Tan.
Earlier, a Jose Rizal U squad known for producing deadly shooters in recent years unveiled a new one in Philip Paniamogan, who powered the Bombers to an 83-72 pummeling of Mapua.
Paniamogan, sophomore from Cagayan de Oro, knocked in 13 of his 24 points in the final period as the Bombers regained their form after watching their 20-point advantage vanish in the third quarter.
The loss was a rude welcome for PBA great and debuting Mapua coach Atoy Co, who found encouragement at the way his Cardinals rallied from the large deficit. “I’m happy with the effort but not with the execution,” said Co. “It’s a young team and I’m hoping they make better decisions next time.”
In the juniors division, San Beda kicked off its drive for a fifth straight title in style with a 119-38 demolition of Lyceum, while JRU barged into the win column with a 69-61 win over Mapua.
JRU 83—Paniamogan 24, Pontejos 18, Mabulac 10, Dela Paz 10, Abanto 8, Sanchez 4, Balagtas 4, Juanico 3, Lasquety, Grospe 0, Salaveria 0.
MAPUA 72—Ighalo 22, Brana 11, Eriobu 11, Saitanan 10, Estrella 9, Cantos 5, Isit 2, Magsigay 2, Gabo 0.
Quarters: 26-14, 43-33, 60-62, 83-72
LYCEUM 70—Ko 23, Zamora 9, Taladua 7, Azores 6, Mendoza 6, Baltazar 6, Mbomiko 6, Ambohot 4, Francisco 3, Evangelista 0, Alanes 0.
SAN BEDA 66—Amer 18, Adeogun 11, Abarcar 9, Koga 8, Dela Cruz 8, A. Semerad 5, D. Semerad 3, Villaruz 2, Dela Rosa 2, Mendoza 0, Bonsubre 0, K. Pascual 0, Ludovice 0.
Quarters: 22-18, 35-28, 56-48, 70-66