Pirates Outsmart Cardinals in Race for Top Spot

Lyceum Pirates Hold off Mapua Cardinals’ late charge to secure NCAA Season 99 victory

In a thrilling showdown at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City on Friday, Nov. 3, the Lyceum Pirates displayed great composure and resilience to secure an 86-82 win against the Mapua Cardinals in the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball tournament. This victory propelled Lyceum to join Mapua at the top of the standings.

The Pirates seemed in control for most of the game, building a comfortable 19-point lead in the fourth quarter. However, the Cardinals mounted a remarkable comeback led by Clint Escamis. With his impressive performance, Escamis almost single-handedly brought his team back into contention.

Nevertheless, Lyceum managed to stave off multiple comeback attempts from Mapua with the help of Patrick Montano, who delivered timely hits to ensure victory for the Pirates. Montano’s contribution was vital, as he scored 18 points, including four crucial three-pointers in the closing minutes.

Lyceum’s commanding lead was established during the third quarter when they embarked on a 15-4 blitz, extending their advantage to 63-44. Escamis played a key role for the Cardinals, scoring 14 of his 25 points in the final quarter and giving his team a fighting chance.

Mapua gained momentum early in the fourth when Jopet Soriano and Marco Cuenco spearheaded a 13-4 run. However, the Pirates relied on Montano’s hot hand and their cushion from earlier in the game to maintain control and secure the victory.

Aside from Montano’s heroics, Shawn Umali provided crucial support with 17 points, while John Bravo and Vince Cunanan added 12 and 10 points, respectively. Enoch Valdez, Lyceum’s team captain, contributed seven points.

Escamis had an outstanding performance for the Cardinals, tying his career-high of 25 points. However, his efforts proved insufficient to tip the scales in their favor.

The final scores were as follows: LPU 86 – Montano 18, Umali 17, Bravo 12, Cunanan 10, Villegas 8, Valdez 7, Guadana 6, Omandac 4, Penafiel 4, Barba 0, Aviles 0, Fuentes 0; Mapua 82 – Escamis 25, Soriano 13, Cuenco 11, Rosilio 8, Dalisay 6, Recto 4, Bancale 4, Asuncion 2, Hernandez 0, Fornis 0.

With this victory, Lyceum improved their record to 9-3, putting them on an equal footing with Mapua at the top of the standings.

The game’s quarterscores were as follows: 20-26; 48-40; 69-57; 86-82.

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