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Lyceum rallies to pip San Sebastian, enter NCAA Final 4

Gyle Montano led the way for Lyceum as the team is back in the Final 4. NCAA
By Dugout Philippines

SAN JUAN, Metro Manila--Lyceum of the Philippines went to Enoch Valdez in the second half as it survived the upset axe wielded by San Sebastian College, 83-80, on Friday and booked a spot in the NCAA Season 99 Final Four at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

Valdez went on beast mode in the last two quarters when he exploded for 14 of his 18 points while facilitating and making a big impact on the defensive end in powering the Pirates to their 12th win in 16 outings and straight to the semis alongside the Mapua Cardinals (13-3).

It was also a win that pushed LPU closer to finishing in the top two and claiming the vital twice-to-beat incentive in the Final Four.

That is assuming the Pirates could hurdle one or both their last two elimination round assignments against the Arellano U Chiefs on Sunday and the San Beda Lions on Tuesday.

And the Gilbert Malabanan-coached Pirates have Valdez to thank for after the energetic and athletic wingman supplemented his superb scoring game with eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and three blocks.

Patrick Montano, meanwhile, provided the scoring punch for LPU and knocked in four booming triples in finishing with 22 points.

It wasn’t a stroll in the park though as everyone expected as the Stags gave the Pirates a big fight and even once ahead by eight points, 34-42, at the half.

SSC-R also had a chance to knot the count at 83 and send the game into overtime but Romel Calahat’s desperate, Hail Mary three-point attempt failed to its mark as the final buzzer sounded.

The Stags dropped to 5-11.

The scores:

LPU 83-Montano 22, Valdez 18, Umali 13, Guadana 10, Barba 9, Omandac 5, Cunanan 2, Villegas 2, Penafiel 2, Bravo 0

SSC-R 80-Desoyo 22, Are 11, Felebrico 9, Calahat 9, Sumoda 7, Escobido 7, Velasco 4, Una 3, Ra. Gabat 3, Aguilar 3, Re. Gabat 2, De Leon 0, Castor 0, Singson 0

Quarterscores: 17-19; 34-42; 64-63; 83-80

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