Pirates rip Cardinals; Knights up
SHOWING they’re for real, the Lyceum Pirates shot down the Mapua Cardinals, 74-59, last night in the NCAA men’s basketball at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Struggling the past two games, Dexter Zamora fired 22 points and Shane Albert Ko added 15 as the Pirates seized another victory that validated their status as a serious contender this season.
In the main game, Letran slipped past Jose Rizal U in overtime, 69-66, to gain the solo lead.
The Knights remain unbeaten in three games while the Heavy Bombers dropped their second match in a row after opening the season with a win over the Cardinals.
The Pirates started making a case for themselves last week when they ambushed defending champion San Beda College, 70-66, in a game nobody expected the Red Lions to squander.
They’re at it again opposite the Cardinals, who put up a decent fight but struggled in an uphill battle throughout.
Jeson Ray Cantos and Mark Jayson Brana provided the scoring punch for the Cardinals with 31 points combined but the Pirates forced them into costly turnovers aside from putting the cuffs on Kenneth Ighalo and Joseph Eriobu.
Mapua flubbed 12 of 22 freethrow attempts and committed 24 turnovers.
The Pirates now share second spot with the Lions at 2-1 while the Cardinals, out to prove their double-overtime win over the San Sebastian Stags was no stroke of luck, absorbed their second defeat in three games.
Lyceum tightened its defense around Ighalo and Eriobu, who led the Cardinals in their San Sebastian conquest, that forced Co to find other options in offense.
“Our game plan was to stop their top two scorers, Ighalo and Eriobu, and we were successful,” said Pirates’ coach Boni Tan.
The high-scoring duo of Ighalo and Eriobu finished with a combined output of nine points.
Earlier, the JRU Light Bombers outlasted the Letran Squires, 67-61, to remain unbeaten in three games along with the idle San Sebastian Staglets and the defending champion San Beda Red Cubs.
The Mapua Red Robins snatched their first victory of the season with a 91-58 thrashing of the Lyceum Junior Pirates. The Red Robins tied the Squires at 1-2 while the winless Junior Pirates fell for the third consecutive game.
Seniors First Game
LYCEUM 74—Zamora 22, Ko 15, Baltazar 10, Francisco 8, Mbomiko 8, Azores 7, Ambohot 2, Mendoza 2, Soliman 0, Lacastesantos 0, Taladua 0, Alanes 0, Garcia 0, Lesmoras 0.
MAPUA 59—Cantos 16, Brana 15, Saitanan 9, Eriobu 6, Magsigay 4, Ighalo 3, Estrella 3, Isit 3, Gabo 0.
Quarters: 14-10, 32-28, 50-47, 74-59
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.