Lyceum finally put a lock on the No. 2 spot with another big game on Friday in the NCAA Season 95 men’s basketball tournament.
But instead of feeling delighted, Lyceum coach Topex Robinson showed his disdain for officiating.
“I’m really frustrated with the way the calls have been made,” Robinson said after his Pirates prevailed over the Jose Rizal Heavy Bombers, 77-64, for a 13th win that cemented their position behind the unbeaten San Beda Red Lions going into the semifinal playoffs.
Robinson whined that referees turn a blind eye on the brutish physicality teams apply on Mike Nzeusseu, Lyceum’s brawny 6-foot-7 center.
“We’ve sent video clips; they should see what they have done to Mike. He’s a level-headed import, but the officiating out there is trying to get into his head,” Robinson said. “I hope it won’t affect the essence of the game. With this message, I hope officiating improves.”
Despite the noncalls on Nzeusseu, the Pirates remained focused and again squeezed out the best from Jaycee Marcelino, who tallied 23 points that combined perfectly with Nzeusseu’s 15-point, 10-rebound effort.
John delos Santos had 19 points and Ronnie Aguilar added 16 for the Bombers, who dropped to a 4-12 record.
The Pirates will wrap up their elimination round on Thursday, when they battle the Red Lions—their tormentors in the finals twice in a row.
“It’s a big game for us as we play for momentum going into the homestretch of the season,” Robinson said.
Rugged forward Ato Ular showed his usual lethal self by controlling the boards to help the Letran Knights defeat the Perpetual Altas, 88-69, in the other game.
Ular had 17 points and 16 rebounds, nine of them on the offensive end, in an assertive performance that the Knights missed in their past two encounters.
“I told him that I will not use him anymore. He probably got scared and played his usual game,” said Letran coach Bonnie Tan in Filipino after the Knights notched their 11th win in 17 games, a record that already merited a semifinal spot.
“We want to be in peak form in time for the semifinals. I really went all-out in this game,” said Ular, who surpassed Tan’s target of 15 rebounds every game.