Lyceum Gains Semifinal Edge in NCAA Basketball; Saint Benilde Maintains Playoff Hopes

Manila – Lyceum of the Philippines University secured a significant advantage in the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball tournament, defeating Arellano University 98-86 at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City on Sunday. The victory earned the Pirates a twice-to-beat incentive for the semifinal round.

According to Philippines News Agency, the team’s victory was propelled by players Mclaude Guadana and John Barba, each scoring 17 points. Lyceum now stands at 13-4, closely trailing the Mapua Cardinals at 14-3. Both teams require just one win against their opponents to advance to the finals.

Additionally, Lyceum players Shawn Umali and Enoch Valdez contributed significantly, scoring 15 and 11 points, respectively. The Pirates established a solid lead with an 80-65 score by the end of the third quarter. Despite Jade Talampas’s 20-point effort for Arellano, which has a 2-15 record, it wasn’t enough to overcome Lyceum’s dominance.

In another crucial match, the College of Saint Benilde, led by Miguel Oczon, secured a 72-54 victory over the reigning champions, Letran. This win keeps Saint Benilde in third place with an 11-6 record, slightly ahead of San Beda University at 10-6. Oczon’s 12 points, highlighted by four triples in the second half, were pivotal in the win. Teammates Miguel Corteza and Mark Sangco each added 13 points.

Letran’s Kobe Monje fought valiantly with 18 points and nine rebounds, but the Knights find themselves tied with the Chiefs at the bottom of the standings.