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Pirates gain playoff

 

By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA

 

CJ Perez put on another double-double effort as Lyceum thumped also-ran Mapua, 92-76, and secured a playoff for one of two twice-to-beat advantages in the semis of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament last night at The Arena in San Juan City.

The reigning MVP was a joy to watch as he scattered 20 points aside from dishing off 11 assists in leading Lyceum to its second straight win and 14th overall since its shock defeat to Perpetual last week.

Lyceum needs only to win one of three remaining games to clinch a semis incentive.

The Cardinals, already out of semis picture, dropped to a 4-11 mark – the same record of Emilio Aguinaldo College which posted its first back-to-back wins of the season with a 78-70 triumph of Arellano College.

EAC’s win was a fitting sequel to its stunning win over College of St. Benilde last week.

“We just want to enjoy the rest of our games. That’s what matters now,” said EAC coach Ariel Sison, adding that they also seek a strong finish this season.

Graduating Jerome Garcia sizzled for EAC with 25 points, six rebounds and five assists while JP Maguilano added 15 points and 10 boards.

The loss eliminated the Chiefs from the semis race as they fell to 4-10.

In juniors play, Lyceum fueled its Final Four bid when it stunned last year’s bridesmaid Mapua, 89-78.

In a game marked by 11 lead changes and eight deadlocks, the Junior Pirates showed steely nerves to frustrate the Red Robins and hike their win-loss tally to 8-7 at fifth place.

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