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Pirates pull rug from under Nambatac, Knights

By Ricky Manliguis

SAN JUAN, MM–Lyceum survived a rabid Rey Nambatac onslaught in the fourth to shock defending champions Letran, 75-72, in the first game of Friday’s NCAA Season 92 action at the FilOil Flying V Center.

In a stunning upset, the Pirates had to withstand the ace Knight’s endgame heroics to arrest its two-game losing skid and finish its first round campaign with four wins and five losses.

Trailing 64-72, the six-foot Nambatac suddenly sprang back to life, burying an 8-1 run highlighted by two three-pointers, the last one slicing the LPU lead to 72-73 with 12.6 seconds remaining.

After Raymar Caduyac converted both his charities in the next sequence, the Knights had one last crack at the basket, but McJour Luib’s desperation three went short over a suffocating Pirate defense.

Caduyac produced a career game as he hit a personal-best 17 points along with four rebounds on 50 percent shooting (5-of-10). Prior to this game, the rookie averaged 5.1 ppg and a 28 percent clip from the field.

Harry Nzeusseu also scored 17 markers on top of 15 rebounds and two blocked shots. MJ Ayaay and Wilson Baltazar contributed 12 and 10 points.

Nambatac paced Letran with 22 points, 14 in the final period, but shot 7-of-19 (37 percent) from the field. Jerrick Balanza and Luib were the other double-digit scorers with 14 and 11 markers, respectively.

The loss plunged the Knights on the middle of the standings with a 5-3 win-loss card, tied with Mapua.

Box Scores:

Lyceum 75–Nzeusseu 17, Caduyac 17, Ayaay 12, Baltazar 10, Alanes 6, Magbuhos 5, Gabayni 4, Soliman 2, Marata 2, Alban 0, Serafico 0

Letran 72–Nambatac 22, Balanza 14, Luib 11, Sollano 7, Apreku 6, Calvo 5, Quinto 5, Ambohot 2, Bernabe 0, Dela Pena 0, Balagasay 0

Quarterscores: 20-14, 39-34, 55-47, 75-72

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