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Pirates steal key upset of Altas

Jebb Bulawan intercepted a crucial pass to Bright Akhuetie with less than 20 seconds left as Lyceum stunned University of Perpetual Help, 64-61, yesterday in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

With the eliminated Pirates leading by a hairline, 62-61, the 6-foot-4 Sorsogon native stepped up by tapping Keith Pido’s pass to Akhuetie to prevent the Altas from grabbing the upperhand and the needed win.

The victory improved Lyceum to 6-11 near the bottom, while also denying Perpetual an early entry to the Final Four.

The Altas slipped to 11-5 to remain at third place.

“It’s the start for the next season for us already. Pretty much the reason why the games still have bearing for us.

There are no wasted games,” said Lyceum mentor Topex Robinson, whose team already eclipsed their last season’s 4-14 finish.

Reymar Caduyac topscored for the Pirates with 15 points, while Mike Nzeusseu had 11 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks.

After the turnover, Perpetual struggled to stop the clock by fouling Nzeusseu with 1.4 ticks left, but the Cameroonian center sank his two charities to give Lyceum the needed advantage.

The Altas refused to lose hope, but a buzzer-beater attempt from Akhuetie just bounced off the rim.

LYCEUM 64 – Caduyac 15, Nzeusseu 11, Alban 8, Bulawan 6, Alanes 6, Gabayni 6, Rubite 5, Ayaay 2, Marata 2, Serafico 2, Malabanan 1, Baltazar 0, Soliman 0.

PERPETUAL 61 – Akhuetie 21, Dagangon 11, Coronel 8, Ylagan 6, Singontiko 5, Pido 5, Sadiwa 3, Gallardo 2, Eze 0, Dizon 0.

Quarters: 12-17; 27-24; 43-43; 64-61.