By Xy-Zha Cabanlong
MANILA - Jaycee Marcelino took command in the second half to lead the Lyceum Pirates to its 10th win, defeating their Muralla neighbors, Letran Knights 90-97, Friday afternoon at the Fil-Oil Flying V Centre.
The Pirates led by as much as 9 points in the first quarter until the Knights went on a 10-4 run to seal the first quarter with them trailing by 3 points, 20-23.
Lyceum surged at the second quarter, leading as much as 15 points; 37-22.
But Allen Mina's triple opened the door for the Knights to attack the Pirates.
Kurt Reyson was a revelation for Letran as the rookie guard scored 6 straight points for the Knights and fishing a foul from Renzo Navarro to earn a trip at the free throw line for his bonus charity.
Reyson completed the 4-point play that cut their trail to 8 points, 32-40.
At the return of play off the timeout called by Lyceum, Letran held their neighbors stuck at 40 points and went on to score 12 straight points, including another back to back triples from Reyson to seal the halftime score at 44-40.
Letran made a run in the second quarter, outscoring LPU 24-17.
Tables turned in the second half as Nino Ibanez opened the scoring for the Pirates to cut the trail by 2; 42-44.
Letran and LPU went on a couple of 1-point lead changes as they convert basket after basket on both sides of the court.
But it was Reymar Caduyac who gave the Pirates the advantage off a steal that opened up their surge away from the Knights; 58-62.
However, with 2:56 left to play in the third quarter, David was found guilty of a disqualified foul and was thrown out of the game, sending Larry Muyang at the free throw line and giving the ball possession to the Knights. Muyang converted easy 2 points off his charities to push Letran to just a 3-point trail; 60-63.
Marcelino converted a massive 3-point shot to give the Pirates a safe 6-point advantage and from there on, it had been quite a challenge for the Knights to recover, especially after losing Tommy Olivario to injury and Fran Yu getting limited minutes in the ball game due to flu.
The Pirates sealed the quarter with them enjoying a 5-point lead, 71-66.
While Letran continued to make efforts to at least come close in the ball game, JC Marcelino joined forces with Caduyac to hand LPU to a safe distance.
Caduyac converted important free throws for the Pirates that gave them a massive advantage over the Knights.
Jeo Ambohot, on the other hand score the last 5 points for the Knights but it was too late to rally and take the game away from LPU.
Marcelino scored a career high of 25 points in the game and was named as the best player.
In the other games, Arellano stunned CSB, 75-69, and EAC snapped a long skid by shocking San Sebastian, 79-75.
LYCEUM 97 -- Jc. Marcelino 25, Caduyac 20, Nzeusseu 16, Ibanez 12, David 11, Tansingco 4, Pretta 3, Jv. Marcelino 2, Valdez 2, Guinto 2, Santos 0, Navarro 0.
LETRAN 90 -- Reyson 20, Muyang 16, Ular 14, Caralipio 8, Batiller 7, Ambohot 7, Balanza 6, Olivario 4, Javillonar 4, Mina 3, Yu 1, Pambid 0.
Quarters: 23-20, 40-44, 71-66, 97-90.
Follow her on Twitter: @_ichbinxyzha