NCAA: Lyceum stays unscathed after character-building win over Arellano | Inquirer Sports

NCAA: Lyceum stays unscathed after character-building win over Arellano

/ 06:41 PM October 06, 2023

Lyceum's Enoch Valdez soars for a layup against the Arellano Chiefs. -NCAA Photo

Lyceum’s Enoch Valdez soars for a layup against the Arellano Chiefs. -NCAA Photo

MANILA, Philippines—If Friday’s match was any indication, it just showed the newfound character of Lyceum in the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball tournament.

The Pirates hiked their winning streak to five after defeating Arellano, 89-77, at San Juan Arena on Friday but they needed a whole lot of effort to gut it out.

For one, coach Gilbert Malabanan’s wards trailed by as much as 24 and had to force five extra minutes of overtime to keep their record unblemished against a feisty Chiefs team, who were undefeated after four games.

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“I think it shows our character. That’s number one. We didn’t give up until the final buzzer and that’s the good thing. Everyone, even if the lead was big, they never quit,” said Malabanan.

“The confidence raised with my players in overtime because at first, they were hesitant to shoot and create with their decision making but when overtime came, they got their rhythm and that’s the good thing.”

The hesitancy that Malabanan spoke of put the Pirates in a tough position at the intermission as they trailed, 48-29.

They, however, flipped the switch in the second half and limited the Chiefs to only nine points in the third quarter to trim the deficit to eight, 57-49, before the payoff period.

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Mclaude Guadaña capped off the comeback run in regulation with a steal and a triple to tie the game at 75-all with 14.5 left.

Overtime, however, showed a much different Lyceum team–one that is highly fueled by trust.

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“I just told them that we couldn’t quit, we should fight until the end. I have trust in everyone… [the] good thing is, all of us were engaged and on one page so we got the win which we really worked hard for,” said captain Enoch Valdez, who finished with a game-high double-double of 26 points and 14 rebounds.

The Pirates’ defense stifled the Chiefs in the extra frame, hounding Arellano to just two points in the rubber period.

John Bravo’s time to shine could not have come in a better time as all of his made triples were sank in overtime, finishing with 14 markers and nine boards. Guadaña also helped Lyceum snag the dub with 20 points.

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Lorenz Capulong’s double-double effort of 13 points and 12 rebounds was put to waste while Danielle Mallari also had 11 markers in a losing effort.

TAGS: Lyceum Pirates, NCAA Season 99

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