Pirates squeak past Chiefs behind rookie
For the second straight time, the Lyceum Pirates needed to gut one out down the stretch.
But those close shaves are not worrying Lyceum coach Gilbert Malabanan.
“These sort of games will help us in the second round where we expect teams to become tougher,’’ said Malabanan, after his Pirates ended the first round with a sign of relief after scraping past the Arellano Chiefs, 82-80 on Tuesday.
Lyceum claimed its seventh win in nine games, enough to stay in second place in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. And it was the second straight game that Lyceum had to dig deep. The Pirates were coming off a tough 82-79 overtime victory over the San Sebastian Stags.
“I regularly expose them to adversity. In fact, in practice I always reverse our standings and tell them that we have been losing. That way they won’t feel at ease,’’ said Malabanan.
This time, it was rookie Patrick Montaño, who sizzled with 16 points, and John Barba, who added 15, who shone for Lyceum. But the Pirates needed to watch a triple from Arellano’s Darrel Menina in the dying seconds rim out.
“We consider all teams as Final Four contenders. That’s the kind of mindset that our coaches would like us to have,’’ said Montaño. INQ