Lyceum closed out its maiden campaign in the NCAA on a high note, putting away College of Saint Benilde, 94-89, even if they needed an extra five minutes to do it at the FilOil-Flying V Arena.
Rich Guevarra sent the game to overtime with a game-tying triple with 5.4 seconds left before leading the Pirates in overtime as they distanced themselves from the Blazers.
The win ended Lyceum’s season at 7-11, tying neighboring Mapua for fifth place while CSB settled for a tie with Arellano for seventh spot at 6-12.
It was an up-and-down year for the Pirates, who were given the green light by the league to play this season as its guest team. Many expected LPU to become the new whipping boys of the league. Instead, they proved critics wrong.
Under coach Bonnie Tan, the Pirates won their first two games and jumped to a 4-2 record before they cooled off considerably midseason.
They suffered a three-game skid at the end of the first round then went into a total tailspin that included losing four consecutive games and handing center Allan Santos an indefinite suspension for misconduct.
Guevarra had 27 points and eight rebounds to lead the Pirates, who appeared headed for a loss when Saint Benilde took a 79-76 lead on a Luis Sinco triple and a split from the line from Carlo Lastimosa.
But Guevarra sank a three-pointer to tie things up and the Blazers’ Michael Pate missed a shot to end regulation.
From there, Guevarra and Jun Napiza contributed before late-season discovery Mark Francisco converted a three-point play that gave the Pirates an 88-82 advantage.
Napiza had 14 points and 11 rebounds while Chris Cayabyab and Kevin Lacap added 11 markers each. Francisco chipped in 10 points and nine rebounds.
Lastimosa led the Blazers with 24 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals and Jan Tan scattered 12 points and 12 boards in a losing effort.
LYCEUM 94 – Guevarra 27, Napiza 14, Cayabyab 11, Lacap 11, Francisco 10, Laude 8, Ko 4, Mallari 4, Anacta 3, Azores 2, Lesmoras 0.
ST BENILDE 89 – Lastimosa 24, Tan 12, Pate 11, Sinco 10, Nayve 9, Taha 8, Deles 6, McCoy 3, de la Paz 2, Altamirano 2, de Guzman 2, Carlos 0.
Quarters: 18-16; 36-37; 59-57; 79-79 (Reg); 94-89 (OT).