Entering the game with the best record so far this season (4-0), the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Pirates drowned the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) Blazers through their relentless full-court blockade, handing the latter their fourth straight loss in the 93rd season of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s basketball tournament, yesterday at the Flying V Fil Oil Arena, San Juan.
In the first-half of play, the Pirates pressed the full-court trap, forcing the Blazers to turn the ball in a number of times. The butterfingers of the Taft-based squad left them scrambling against the open shooters of Lyceum’s Wilson Baltazar and Spencer Pretta, who capitalized from beyond the arc to spark a 31-10 run to pull away to end the second quarter (47-21).
Entering the second half, the green and white tried their run-and-gun offense which led Clement Leutcheu and Unique Naboa to spark a 5-0 run early in the third quarter (26-47). However, Jaymar Perez anchored down their defensive trap back into place, forcing the Blazers to commit more turnovers. Baltazar and Jayvee Marcelino turned the turnovers into transition baskets, ballooning the lead to 34 points to end the quarter (68-34).
In the final quarter, the Pirates sustained their defensive barrage against the Blazers. Jaycee Marcelino and Pretta punished the front court of Benilde blowing pass by them to score in the paint, burying the Blazers 43 points deep to end the game (98-55).
The Lyceum squad finished the game on a record note after winning game with the highest margin since they joined the league in 2011. Their five win streak is also their longest winning streak since entering the oldest collegiate tournament in the country.
The Blazers will try to end their winless drought tomorrow, August 3, when they go up against the Collegio de San Juan de Letran (CSJL) Knights (1-3), at the same venue.