Lyceum stays unbeaten, St. Benilde beats last year’s win total
Eight games into this NCAA men’s basketball tournament season, Lyceum remains unbeaten and St. Benilde has already surpassed its win total from all of last year. And the Blazers did not even need their marquee big man to do so.
The Pirates used a strong fourth quarter to trip the Letran Knights, 87-82, Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre, setting up a mouthwatering showdown between undefeated clubs with defending champion San Beda on Tuesday.
The Pirates dropped a 17-4 run in the final five minutes to bust out of an eight-point cage and register their eighth straight victory.
Drawing firepower from several sources, St. Benilde turned back Arellano University, 70-62, to boost its bid for a slot in the top four.
Rookie Justin Gutang led the team with 15 points and seven rebounds while Yankie Haruna had nine rebounds to go with his nine points as the pair helped the Blazers to their fifth win in eight outings.
Last season, St. Benilde’s first under coach TY Tang, the Blazers compiled a 4-14 (win-loss) card.
Six other players contributed at least five points for St. Benilde, which strung up two straight wins for the first time under Tang.
“The team played well, we held our own in defense even without Clement,” said Tang.
The production of the entire squad made up for the absence of Leutcheu, who served his one-game suspension for the two technical fouls he incurred in a win over the Emilio Aguinaldo Generals Tuesday.
The Cameroonian is the team’s second leading scorer (11.9 points) and leading rebounder (9.6) and shot blocker (1.0).
In another game, Jose Rizal pulled off a shock 57-55 win over Emilio Aguinaldo.
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