Each and every time Colegio de San Juan de Letran tried something on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre, CJ Perez was right there to turn them away for Lycuem of the Philippines University.
Perez starred once more as the Pirates stamped their class on their neighboring Knights, 81-69, to keep their perfect record intact in the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The transferee tallied 24 points, three rebounds, three assists, and three steals to show the league-leaders the way to 16-0.
With Letran threatening at 61-69 inside the last six minutes, it was also Perez’s back-to-back hits that remounted a 73-61 lead for his team.
Jeo Ambohot’s triple again neared the Knights to within singe-digits, 66-75, with under two minutes remaining before the do-it-all swingman again fought them off with two beautiful buckets in a row.
Providing backup were MJ Ayaay who collected 12 points and six rebounds as well as Mike Nzeusseu who posted an 11-point, 13-rebound double-double.
Marcelino twins Jayvee and Jaycee also added a combined 16 points, nine rebounds, and six assists to go along with a pair of highlights.
Once more outclassing their opponents, LPU moved two wins away from an elimination round sweep.
That is a tall task, however, as their remaining assignments are against playoff hopeful Jose Rizal University and defending champion San Beda College.
Also with a tall task ahead of it is Letran which dropped back onto an 8-7 standing.
Their record keeps them at solo fourth, but the Knights need to take care of business against archrival San Beda and then also-ran College of St. Benilde if they are to hold off 7-8 and fifth-running San Sebastian College-Recoletos.
JP Calvo topped the scoring column for them in this one with 15 points while Bong Quinto and Rey Nambatac chipped in 13 and 12 points, respectively.
LPU 81 – Perez 24, Ayaay 12, Nzeusseu 11, Marcelino JV 11, Santos 6, Marcelino JC 5, Caduyac 4, Baltazar 3, Liwag 3, Serrano 2, Ibanez 0, Tansingco 0, Cinco 0, Pretta 0, Marata 0
LETRAN 69 – Calvo 15, Quinto 13, Nambatac 12, Balagasay 9, Ambohot 8, Taladua 5, Balanza 4, Gedaria 2, Mandreza 1, Vacaro 0, Bernabe 0, Caralipio 0
QUARTER SCORES: 29-20, 45-36, 64-54, 81-69
This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.