In a "probationary member" versus "guest team" battle, the Lyceum Pirates got out ahead early to a 22-13 lead, but a persistent Arellano team kept launch comeback after comeback, at one point in the third quarter, getting to within a point, 47-46, after an 8-0 Chiefs blitz. That was as close as they would get though, as the Pirates banked on firepower off the bench from Floricel Guevarra and Gian Mallari to break the zone and keep the lead all the way to the final buzzer, 84-74. (Recap here)
What's at Stake:
- At 4-10, the Arellano Chiefs are all but out of it, meaning they'll be going into this game with a spoiler's mentality, looking to take down other teams straddling the line between "having a chance" and "having no chance."
- The slipping Lyceum Pirates used to have the number four seed locked up, until suspensions, both internal and by the league, sent them spiraling downwards. At 5-8, they still have a chance at getting back to where they were, but it's an uphill climb for this team.
AU Player to Watch : Vergel Zulueta came out on top in the scoring duel versus Chris Cayabyab, with 23 points to Cayabyab's 20, on some insane numbers: 9/10 from inside the arc, 10/12 from the line, five rebounds and five assists. After scoring just six markers versus JRU, expect Zulueta to look to bounce back.
LPU Player to Watch : With Allan Santos reportedly out of Lyceum (and spotted at the Adamson game to boot, cheering on his old team!), it's up to Onofre Napiza to man the middle for the Pirates. Napiza came up with a 10-point, six rebound game in their last outing, helped by the Arellano zone, and so if the Chiefs keep on trotting out that defense, smart boxing out may lead to easy second-chance points.
Prediction: LPU Pirates