(Filoil EcoOil Arena)
9:30 a.m. — San Beda vs JRU
3 p.m. — EAC vs Perpetual
Lyceum of the Philippines leaned on Enoch Valdez in the second half as it survived the upset axe wielded by San Sebastian College, 83-80, yesterday to book a spot in the NCAA Season 99 Final Four at the Filoil EcoOil Arena.
Valdez caught fire in the last two quarters, firing in 14 of his 18 points while facilitating and making a big impact on the defensive end in powering the Pirates to their 12th win in 16 outings and straight to the semis alongside Mapua University (13-3).
It was also a win that pushed the Pirates closer to finishing in the top two and claiming the coveted twice-to-beat incentive in the Final Four.
All the Pirates have to do to secure the other twice-to-beat incentive is win one of the two games remaining against Arellano University on Sunday and San Beda on Tuesday.
And the Gilbert Malabanan-coached Pirates have Valdez to thank for after the energetic and athletic wingman supplemented his superb scoring game with eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals and three blocks.
Patrick Montaño, meanwhile, provided the scoring punch for Lyceum and knocked in four triples in finishing with 22 points.
It wasn’t a stroll in the park though as the Stags threatened the Pirates and even took the half at 42-34.
San Sebastian also had a chance to knot the count at 83 and send the game into overtime but Romel Calahat’s desperate three-point attempt failed to its mark as the final buzzer sounded.
The Stags dropped to 5-11.