La Salle escapes Lyceum, goes to Filoil finals
De La Salle averted disaster and survived Lyceum of the Philippines, 100-99, to enter the finals of the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup Friday at the tournament’s namesake arena in San Juan.
Santi Santillan converted on a three-point play in the final 10 seconds give the Green Archers a narrow lead before Lyceum botched its final play as Reymar Caduyac’s inside pass to Harry Nzeusseu went erratic.
La Salle set up a finals dance against San Beda on Sunday.
Green Archers head coach Aldin Ayo said the team has to learn from close games where their composure will be tested.
“I told the team to learn from this ball game because we’re going to learn a lot from this,” said Ayo. “The composure, the decision-making when under duress, the decision-making when the odds are not with us, because there are things that we cannot control.”
La Salle held a 97-94 lead in the final 1:15 but the Pirates managed to score five unanswered to take the, 99-97, lead with 35.7 seconds remaining.
Aljun Melecio led the Green Archers with a game-high 30 points while coming away with four steals.
Ricci Rivero was not far behind for La Salle as he put up 27 points while Ben Mbala had a 26-point, 16-rebound double-double.
CJ Perez filled up the stat sheets for the Pirates with 24 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, and six steals while Wilson Baltazar added 19 points.