By Jerome Lagunzad
(The Arena, San Juan City)
8 a.m. — EAC vs Perpetual Help (Jrs)
10 a.m. — Mapua vs Arellano (Jrs)
12 noon — EAC vs Perpetual Help (Srs)
2 p.m. — Mapua vs Arellano (Srs)
4 p.m. — Letran vs St. Benilde (Srs)
6 p.m. — Letran vs St. Benilde (Jrs)
Right on Friday the 13th, the Lyceum Pirates unleashed their most frightening form.
Top gun CJ Perez sparkled anew while his teammates followed his lead as Lyceum ran rings around Final Four-bound Jose Rizal University, 100-63, yesterday and closed in on an impressive sweep of the 93rd NCAA seniors basketball elimination round.
The 6-foot-1 Perez led all scorers with 24 points, including a pair of highlight reels down the stretch, eight other teammates added at least six points as the Pirates showed the gulf in class over the veteran-laden Heavy Bombers.
More importantly, Lyceum racked up its 17th straight victory and inched closer towards achieving the impressive feat which was previously done by defending champion San Beda in 2010.
Interestingly, the Red Lions stand as the final stumbling block for the Pirates on Thursday. A repeat victory by Lyceum over San Beda will give it an outright passage to a best-of-three finals affair. The other semifinalists will figure in a step-ladder format.
Earlier, Robert Bolick made his presence felt on both ends yesterday as the Red Lions dealt a big blow on the Knights’ Final Four bid behind a 73-68 victory.
The 6-foot-1 Bolick helped put the clamps down on high-scoring Letran counterpart Rey Nambatac then came through with a gutsy layup down the stretch, paving the way for defending champion San Beda’s 15th straight victory and 16th overall against a lone setback.
Bolick tallied 13 points, including a daring drive to the hoop over lanky Letran center Jeo Ambohot that stretched San Beda’s advantage to 70-65 with under two minutes left. He also did a commendable job on harassing Nambatac no end, holding him down to just eight points on a woeful 3-of-13 shooting from the field.
Letran dropped into a three-way tie at fourth spot with host San Sebastian and idle Arellano, all toting similar 8-9 marks.
The Golden Stags kept themselves in the hunt for the last semifinal berth after scoring a 97-70 victory over the eliminated Mapua Cardinals.