By Ivan Saldajeno
SAN JUAN, MM—Two games down in the FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup. Two upsets completed.
Lyceum posted the second consecutive stunner in the opening day of the tournament with a 90-89 win over Ateneo at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Monday.
The Blue Eagles actually had a chance to avert the upset as they already cut an 11-point fourth quarter deficit down to one, but they could not finish it off, letting the Pirates escape.
Down 69-80 with 6:50 left, Ateneo launched a 7-0 run that cut the deficit down to four, 76-80, with 5:41 remaining.
Lyceum answered with a 6-0 run, the last four from CJ Perez, and the lead was 10 again, 86-76, with 3:34 to go and appeared to be holding on.
But the Blue Eagles went for another 7-0 charge, trimming the gap down to a single point, 87-86, with 2:16 left.
The Pirates momentarily extended the lead to four, 90-86, with 1:50 to go after a basket from MJ Ayaay and a split from Jaycee Marcelino.
But Mike Nieto buried a triple that sent the lead back to one, 90-89, with 1:12 remaining.
Ateneo had its first chance at taking the lead as Ayaay was called for steps with 52.1 seconds left.
But Gian Mamuyac misfired a one-hander with exactly half a minute remaining.
Ateneo had one final crack at the win as Perez lost the ball with 6.4 seconds remaining.
But Nieto, who buried three straight three-pointers including the aforementioned trey, missed the potential game-winner from deep as time expired.
Marcelino finished with 14 points, one rebound, three assists, and one steal, while Perez added 13 points, six rebounds, three assists, and three steals for Lyceum.
Nieto collected 17 markers for Ateneo.
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