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Lyceum staves off elimination, stuns Arellano

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--Lyceum's slim NCAA juniors basketball Final Four hopes got a huge boost on Monday after scoring a 77-66 upset over erstwhile leader Arellano at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Junjun Cecilio fired 31 points, while McLaude Gaudana added 20 with 10 rebounds as the Junior Pirates, despite turning the ball over 26 times, shocked the Braves by limiting them to only 29 percent shooting and grabbing 63 caroms.

Guilmer Dela Torre, following a 36-point outrage on Thursday, tallied 25 markers for the now 13-2 Braves, but his usual partner-in-crime, Carlo Abadeza, was shut down, missing all of his nine field goal attempts and ended up with only three points via charities.

However, Lyceum, which moved up to 7-7, can only hope for a playoff for the fourth seed as La Salle-Greenhills drubbed JRU, 72-51, in earlier action to assure itself of at least the said knockout match.

Troy Malinlin scored 25 points with 11 rebounds, one assist, and one steal for the Greenies, who stifled their cross-Mandaluyong rivals Light Bombers all game long.

The Greenies, now at 11-3, can officially clinch a semifinal seat--and even bring the Malayan Red Robins along with them, effectively completing the postseason cast--if they beat the Junior Pirates on Thursday also at the said venue.

Malayan's bid to clinch the third Final Four seat outright was derailed by San Beda after an 84-89 defeat.

Robi Nayve led six Red Cubs in double figures with 14 markers as they, now at 13-1, reclaimed the top spot in the team standings and moved closer to taking one of the two twice-to-beat advantages in the Final Four.

Romuel Junsay led the Red Robins, who slipped to a tie with the Greenies for third place, with 20 markers, while Batang Gilas player Will Gozum added a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds with two blocks.

In the other games, San Sebastian subdued Perpetual Help, 72-68, while Letran pipped ICA, 69-64.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno