NCAA: Lyceum gets first win over CSB under coach Malabanan
MANILA, Philippines—Lyceum finally beat College of St. Benilde, 85-81, in the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball tournament on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
It was the Pirates’ first victory over the Blazers since Gilbert Malabanan took over as their head coach in Season 97.
“That was one of our motivations. They got frustrated in the first half because last year, we really didn’t win against Benilde so the good thing is we won and it’s on our first day,” said Malabanan, whose squad made the Final Four in Season 98, in Filipino.
“But of course, we can’t be too overconfident because first of all, there was no Will Gozum but still, a win is a win.”
JM Bravo led Lyceum with 18 points and eight rebounds while Enoch Valdez and Shawn Umali combined for 30 points. Umali put Benilde away by draining a pair of free throws with 8.7 ticks to go.
The Blazers, who lost to Letran in last season’s finale, played without their star big man and reigning MVP Will Gozum. Gozum served a one-game suspension after getting ejected in Game 3 of the championship round last year.
Miggy Corteza stepped up in the absence of Gozum, but his game-high 21 points went down the drain after Benilde’s late comeback from 10 points down fell short. Robi Nayve, Miguel Oczon and Prince Carlos added 13 each.