By Waylon Galvez
Game Tuesday (Mall of Asia Arena)
1 p.m. – San Beda vs Lyceum (Jrs)
Mclaude Guadaña and John Barba connected on timely baskets for Lyceum of the Philippines University en route to a 79-74 victory over the San Beda Red Cubs in Game 2 Friday to level the NCAA Season 95 Juniors Finals at 1-1 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The winner-take-all Game 3 is on Tuesday at the same venue.
Ahead 73-71, Guadaña buried his third three-point basket give the Jr. Pirates a 76-71 cushion with 42.9 seconds left.
Yukien Andrada answered with his own triple to cut Lyceum’s lead 76-74. Barba – the season’s Most Valuable Player – beat the shot clock with a triple to all but decide the outcome 79-74 with 16.7 seconds to go.
It was the Junior Pirates’ first ever victory against the Red Cubs since they joined the league during the 87th Season in 2011, ending a 19-game losing skid that included a 94-80 San Beda win in Game 1 of the finals last Tuesday.
Guadaña powered Lyceum with 19 points, seven rebounds and four steals, while Barba finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Jaerolan Omandac also had a solid game for the Junior Pirates with 18 points and Gyle Montano contributed 12 points and eight rebounds, while Raphael Garro had six points and 12 boards.
Lyceum coach JC Docto credited the determination of his players for keeping their bid alive.
“Talagang all-out na yung mga players ko, kasi wala naman kaming choice dahil kung hindi tapos ang finals,” said Docto. “Gusto talaga nila patunayan na kaya na lumaban sa finals.”
Andrada led the Red Cubs with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Justin Sanchez added 15 points, Jay Ynot had 14 points, and Rhayyan Amsali contributed 12 points for the SBU.
Meanwhile, Calvin Oftana of the Red Lions formally received his MVP trophy during the pre-game awarding ceremony.
Oftana topped the Statistical Points departmentwith 51.56 Player Average Value (PAV). He joined teammates Evan Nelle and James Canlas, LPU’s Jaycee Marcelino and San Sebastian’s Allyn Bulanadi in the Mythical Team.
Oftana was also named to the All-Defensive Team together with Perpetual Help’s Ben Adamos, Emilio Aguinaldo College’s JP Maguliano, San Sebastian’s JM Calma and Arellano University’s Justin Arana, the season’s Rookie of the Year.
Letran’s Fran Yu bagged the Most Improved Player award, while Cameroonian center Donald Tankoua of San Beda was named the season’s Best Foreign Player and his compatriot Mike Nzeusseu of LPU was given the Best Defensive Foreign Player.
“Natalo kami sa Game 1, of course first time namin to play in the finals. Pero nakapag-adjust kami, and we executed well on offense and maganda din yung naging depensa ng team.”
Tags: Gyle Montano, Jaerolan Omandac, Jay Ynot, JC Docto, John Barba, Junior Pirates, Justin Sanchez, Lyceum Junior Pirates, Mclaude Guadana, NCAA, NCAA S95 juniors' basketball, NCAA Season 95 juniors' basketball, Raphael Garro, Red Cubs, Rhayyan Amsali, San Beda Red Cubs, Yukien Andrada