By Waylon Galvez
Games Tuesday (Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City)
1 p.m. – San Beda vs Lyceum (Jrs)
4 p.m. – San Beda vs Letran (Srs)
Lyceum of the Philippines University forward John Barba fired a career-best 36 points to power the Junior Pirates to a 78-76 victory over the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Staglets Friday for a seat in the finals of NCAA Season 95 junior’s tournament at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Barba, one of 10 graduating players, scored Lyceum’s last nine points capped by a three-point play off a foul by Josel Barroga that gave them a 74-67 lead with 2:24 left in the game.
San Sebastian countered with a 9-4 run, with a Milo Janao triple trimming Lyceum’s lead to 78-76 with 2.2 seconds remaining.
After two missed free throws by Pirate Jaerolan Omandac, the Staglets had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but the ‘Hail Mary’ three-point attempt from half court by Rafael Are fell short as time expired.
Lyceum’s win propelled the team to its first finals appearance in the junior’s division.
The Junior Pirates will face top seed San Beda Red Cubs – owners of record 22 championships – in the best-of-three series starting this Tuesday at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.
“We’re very happy that finally we’re in the Finals,” said Lyceum mentor JC Docto. “This is a testament of the hard work of the players, the whole team, and of course the support of the Lyceum community.”
McLaude Guadania and Gyle Montano, both graduating players too, also delivered solid performances with the former finishing with 14 points, eight rebounds and the same number of assists while the latter had 10 points and eight boards.
San Sebastian, which forced the do-or-die match by beating the twice-to-beat Lyceum last Tuesday, got 18 points from Dylan Darbin, while Kim Bulasa finished with 15 points and Nikko Aguilar had 14 points.
LYCEUM 78 – Barba 36, Guadaña 14, Montaño 10, Omandac 7, Panganiban 6, Garing 3, Ragasa 2, Gamlanga 0, Garro 0, Santos 0, Caringal 0, Caduyac 0, Gudmalin 0, Dejelo 0.
SAN SEBASTIAN 76 – Darbin 18, Bulasa 15, Aguilar 14, Janao 9, Barroga 6, Are 6, Una 4, Perez 2, Concha 2, Brizo 0, Lustina 0.
Quarters: 18-20; 37-44; 56-54; 78-76.
Tags: John Barba, Junior Pirates, Lyceum Junior Pirates, Lyceum of the Philippines University, NCAA, NCAA S95 juniors' basketball, NCAA season 95, NCAA Season 95 juniors' basketball, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, San Sebastian Staglets, Staglets