Pirates hold off Generals' fightback for solo NCAA lead
MANILA, Philippines – The Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Pirates held off the tenacious Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) Generals, 106-97, to take the early solo lead in the NCAA Season 94, on Friday, July 13, at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
JC Marcelino and CJ Perez knocked in key baskets in the closing minutes to help the Pirates stay afloat after the Generals wiped out their double-digit advantage.
Marcelino steered the Pirates' ship back to safe waters with a team-high 24 points off the bench on top of 8 rebounds and 5 steals .
Perez waxed hot early, unloading 15 of his 20 points in the first half to help put the Pirates ahead by 21 points at halftime, 59-38. The reigning league MVP also tallied 5 boards and a game-high 6 steals.
EAC, though, started to claw back after the break as Jerome Garcia punched home a transition triple late in the 3rd quarter to cut their double-digit deficit to just 7, 70-77.
Jethro Mendoza and Hamadou Laminou likewise rode the heat wave as the Generals vaporized the Pirates' 31-point buffer to just 3, 77-80, after a near-perfect period.
However, Marcelino dropped a triple to silence the EAC crowd and create a small 5-point cushion for the Pirates, 86-79, with two minutes gone in the 4th.
Lyceum's main big man Mike Nzeusseu fouled out, but Tansingco made up for it with his own trey to extend the Pirates lead back to 8, 91-83.
Marcelino and Perez exchanged fastbreak layups to secure a 16-point separation, 104-88, with 2:19 left.
Tansingco added 11 points while Marcelino's twin JV also scored 10.
Laminou led the Generals' fightback with a game-high double-double of 34 points and 16 rebounds to go with 4 blocks before fouling with 4:30 minutes left.
Garcia added 20 points of his own on a 4-of-9 (44%) showing from downtown for the Generals.
LPU (106) – JC Marcelino 24, Perez 20, Tansingco 11, JV Marcelino 10, Nzeusseu 7, Serrano 7, Ayaay 6, Caduyac 5, Ibanez 4, Valdez 4, Lumbao 3, Yong 3, Pretta 2, Santos 0, Cinco 0.
EAC (97) – Laminou 34, Garcia 20, Mendoza 13, Bautista 10, Robin 9, Magullano 5, Natividad 3, Cruz 2, Tampoc 1, Neri 0, Diego 0, Cadua 0, Bugarin 0, Gonzales 0.
Quarter scores: 30-13, 59-38, 80-77, 106-97.