Zark’s-Lyceum snares D-League crown with come-from-behind win
Zark’s-Lyceum fought back from a 14-point deficit in the third quarter and stunned Che’Lu Bar and Grill-San Sebastian, 92-82, in Game 3 to snare the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup title Tuesday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The Jawbreakers completed one of the most improbable runs in PBA D-League history, becoming the lowest-ranked team to ever claim the championship.
Conference MVP CJ Perez showed his heart and uncorked 26 points, six rebounds, and eight steals to anchor the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum’s fightback from a 49-63 hole with 2:46 left third quarter.
“I just told them that love wins, that as long as we love each other and trust each other, we’ll win,” said coach Topex Robinson.
Zark’s-Lyceum staged a killer 21-4 rally to take the 85-74 lead with 4:06 to play en route to their first championship in the developmental ranks.
Cameroonian big man Mike Nzeusseu also imposed his will down low with his 28 points and 18 boards, while MJ Ayaay once again acted as the stabilizing force for the squad with his 14 points.
The Jawbreakers bounced back from an erratic first half, forcing the Revellers to commit 18 turnovers in the ensuing frames as their defense led to 36 points off turnovers.
“I just told the players that we know, there are people praying for us. You’re inspiring people and you’re doing that by not just giving up,” said Robinson.
Michael Calisaan led Che’Lu Bar and Grill-San Sebastian with 17 points and six rebounds off the bench, while Alfred Batino and Ryan Costelo both had 12 in the heartbreaking defeat.
ZARK’S BURGER-LYCEUM 92 — Nzeusseu 28, Perez 26, Ayaay 14, Jc. Marcelino 7, Jv. Marcelino 6, Caduyac 5, Tansingco 3, Ibañez 2, Serrano 1, Baltazar 0, Pretta 0, Yong 0.
CHE’LU BAR AND GRILL-SAN SEBASTIAN 82 — Calisaan 17, Batino 12, Costelo 12, Ablaza 11, Bulanadi 8, De Leon 8, David 6, Collado 4, Ilagan 2, Taganas 2, Siruma 0.
Quarters: 21-18, 37-42, 64-70, 92-82.