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Red Lions roar past Knights

San Beda University got past archrival Letran College, 68-63, for its third win in Season 99 National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan yesterday.

Down by one point in the fourth quarter, Alex Visser scored on an open layup with 22.2 seconds remaining for a slim 64-63 win for the Red Lions.

Then Jacob Cortez and Yukien Andrada, who both led San Beda with 14 points each, wrapped it all up with two free throws each in the dying seconds.

The Red Lions join host Jose Rizal University and Mapua University at second place with identical 3-1 win loss records while the Knights, the defending champions, dropped to a 0-4.

In the first game, league-leading Lyceum of the Philippines University carved out an 89-77 win over Arellano University in overtime.

Down by 11 points with one minute and 47 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, the Pirates staged a 12-2 run capped by a triple from Mclaude Guadaña with 14.5 seconds left and forced five more minutes of basketball.

At the start of overtime, Lyceum stepped on the gas going for a 10-0 blast that was highlighted by a layup from Vincent Cunanan for an 85-75 lead with one minute and 48 seconds remaining and never looked back as it booked its fifth straight victory in as many games.

The Pirates scored 29 points off the Chiefs’ 29 turnovers and outscored Arellano’s bench, 52-32.

Lyceum head coach Gilbert Malabanan lauded his wards’ resiliency despite trailing by as much as 24 points.

“We didn’t give up until the final buzzer and that’s a good thing. Even though Umali is gone, the other players stepped up,” Malabanan said.

“We will always rely on our defense because that’s where our offense will come from. We played an honest defense. They never gave up and I will give credit to them.”

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