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Hot Pirates rout Cards, sweep elims

Games Tuesday
(The Arena, San Juan City)
12 noon – San Beda vs Arellano (Jrs)
2 p.m. – San Beda vs Arellano (Srs)
4 p.m. – JRU vs Mapua (Srs)
6 p.m. – JRU vs Malayan (Jrs)

Lyceum completed a 9-game sweep of the first elimination round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament with a 97-74 romp over Mapua yesterday at The Arena in San Juan City.

The Pirates dominated the injury-hit Cardinals from start to finish, leading by as many as 32 points late in the third period, 78-46, to highlight their dominant show in the first round elims.

CJ Perez expectedly led Lyceum with 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Wilson Baltazar added 12 points.

Lyceum coach Topex Robinson used 15 players in the game while Mapua mentor Atoy Co fielded only nine players due to various injuries to some key players.

Worse, the Cardinals played without Kim Magboo in the last three quarters after hurting his right knee and elbow after a bad landing in the opening period.

Though facing an undermanned squad, Robinson still pushed his stalwarts to give their best.

“We always honor each game. I always tell my boys that we are playing against Mapua; we are playing against ourselves,” said Robinson, who returned from a one-game suspension after getting ejected in their 97-93 win over Emilio Aguinaldo college last Aug. 10.

Mapua slipped to 1-7 with one game assignment left – against Jose Rizal University on Tuesday.

Christian Bunag topscored for the Cardinals with 17 points aside from grabbing14 boards, while JB Raflores and JP Nieles chipped in 16 and 13 points in a losing effort.

Earlier, Levi Dela Cruz produced breakthrough performance to help lift Arellano University past College of St. Benilde, 87-81.

The 5-foot-7 Dela Cruz, a product of Davao City, fired a career-high 24 points and dished out four assists as the Chiefs also snapped a four-game losing skid after a 3-1 start.

Arellano outscored St. Benilde, 29-19, thanks to the stellar show of Dela Cruz, who unloaded 12 points.

Lervin Flores also found his touch and finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Kent Salado managed nine points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.