Who can stop Lyceum of the Philippines’ Pirates in the NCAA? Certainly not the Jose Rizal College’s Heavy Bombers.
The Pirates blasted the Heavy Bombers at the Filoil Flying V Center behind another awesome offensive, 100-63, on Friday to register their 17th straight win in a streak that now stands as the best elimination start in the history of the country’s oldest collegiate athletic meet.
The Red Lions on the other proved steadier in the stretch as they outlasted bitter rival Letran College, 73-68 for their 15th straight win and 16th overall in 17 outings.
The wins primed up the Pirates and the Red Lions who will clash next week in what could already be a preview of the championship battle in the glamour league.
Making his case for the season MVP award, CJ Perez produced another solid all-around game of 24 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals to lead the Pirates.
Robert Bolick, who was supposed to contend for the MVP award but was disqualified due to a suspension, once again starred in a late rally for the Red Lions, making plays and scoring on daredevil drives to frustrate the Knights.
Earlier, San Sebastian threw its full might on last-placed Mapua University and hammered out a 97-70 victory, tying Letran and Arellano University at 8-9.
Trying to pump some life to their sagging Final Four campaign, the troika of Jayson David, Alfren Gayosa and Alvin Capobres conspired in delivering the decisive blows that helped the Stags end a three-game losing slide.
San Sebastian have a chance to clinch at least a playoff for the remaing Final Four spot if they could hurdle the already eliminated University of Perpetual Help System Dalta in the final playdate of the elimination round on Thursday.
“We just have to keep the faith,” said Stags coach Egay Macaraya.
David exploded with 24 points while Gayosa and Capobres fired 18 and 17 points, respectively, in dealing the Cardinals their 14th defeat against three wins.
Although Macaraya pointed at team effort as the key to victory, he wasn’t shy showing his admiration to David.
“Seeing him play every day, I think he’s the most consistent of my players. Barring injuries, he has a strong chance of making it to the PBA,” said Macaraya of David. (Theodore P. Jurado)
SSC-R (97) – David 24, Gayosa 18, Capobres 17, Calisaan 9, Ilagan 9, Calma 6, Costelo 5, Mercado 4, Bulanadi 3, Baetiong 2, Valdez 0, Navarro 0.
MU (70) – Pelayo 16, Orquina 15, Buñag 13, Estrella 12, Victoria 7, Jimenez 5, Raflores 2, Aguirre 0.
Quarterscores: 31-20, 46-34, 69-52, 97-70
SBC (73) – Tankoua 15, Bolick 13, Oftana 13, Mocon 8, Soberano 6, Abuda 6, Doliguez 5, Potts 3, Noah 2, Bahio 2, Adamos 0, Cabanag 0.
CSJL (68) – Quinto 18, Balanza 16, Calvo 12, Nambatac 8, Ambohot 7, Taladua 4, Vacaro 3, Balagasay 0, Gedaria 0, Mandreza 0.
Quarterscores: 21-14, 33-31, 52-53, 73-68
LPU (100) – Perez 24, Pretta 9, Tansingco 9, Caduyac 8, Marcelino JC. 8, Santos 8, Marata 8, Marcelino JV. 6, Serrano 6, Ayaay 4, Nzeusseu 4, Ibañez 4, Liwag 2, Baltazar 0, Cinco 0.
JRU (63) – Castor 12, Teodoro 11, Dela Virgen 10, Poutouochi 8, Mendoza 8, Sibangan 4, Mariano 4, Grospe 4, Abdul Razak 2, Mate 0, Sawat 0, Pontejos 0, Bordon 0, Lasquety 0, David 0.
Quarterscores: 24-18, 42-34, 68-53, 100-63