|JC Marcelino unleashed his furious form to keep LPU unbeaten, en route to get the first POW honors. file|
MANILA--After being washed out by supertyphoon Gardo, the Arena in San Juan finally played out its first day of the NCAA 94 Men's Basketball tournament Friday, with Lyceum, San Sebastian and hosts Perpetual Help came up winners.
In the noontime opener, Pirates nearly blew a 31-point lead in the third but held their nerve at the final quarter to hold off EAC 106-97 to grab solo first with a 2-0 card.
LPU banked on a career game of JC Marcelino who scored 13 of his 24 points in the final frame to preserve their unblemished record, after seeing off a furious rally from the Generals.
Marcelino waxed hot on the floor on 10/15 shooting and he came up just two boards shy of a double-double to go along with his 5 swipes and two dimes, enough for him to be the inaugural Player of the Week receipient.
“Yung mga ganitong laro, challenge ito sa amin para alam na namin ang dapat naming gawin pag ganito ulit ang nangyari,” said the lefty guard who had 13 in his season opener.
Hamadou Laminou make sure Lyceum were made to work for their win with monster double-double of 34 points and 16 rebounds, including 13 in the third when he ignited a furious 36-8 run in the third to reduce the 41-72 deficit to just three, before running out of gas in the final 10 minutes.
San Sebastian bounced back from their opening day loss to subdue St. Benilde in the second game, 85-78.
With no team pulling away by double figures, the Stags and the Blazers saw their leads swapped 16 times and drew level further 12 times before pulling away with an RK Ilagan triple with 1:38 to go to cap off his eighth point in the payoff period for a total of 16.
Combo forward Michael Calisaan led all scorers with 18 points to go along with his 10 points for a double-double.
Edward Dixon lead CSB with 12 in a losing effort.
In the final game of the day, the Altas froze Letran with their choking defense, as Frankie Lim finally got his first win back in the league with a close 78-75 squeaker.
Perpetual Help made a maroon wall to frustrate the Knights' offense, limiting them to just 2 points in the final 7:11 of the contest as they fired 13 of their own, including 12 straight to bounce back from Saturday's crushing opening loss to San Beda with a 1-1 card.
Edgar Charcos continued to wax hot as he led all scorers with 27 points, with all but five of them coming in the first half.
Prince Eze continued his to stamp his Defensive Player of the Year credentials by swatting six shots, with his last one on Bong Quinto with seven seconds left gave them their opening win of the season.
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