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Scorpions survive scare


The fifth to ninth places, meantime, also play another round with the last placer going to be eliminated first


Centro Escolar University was held scoreless in the last four minutes but held on to beat Lyceum of the Philippines University, 72-69, in the Universities and Colleges Athletic League-PG Flex Linoleum Season 6 yesterday at the Paco Arena in Manila.

The Pirates of Batangas looked headed to forcing an overtime after crawling their way back from a huge 14-point deficit at the halfway mark of the payoff period but failed to buy a basket in two occasions, including a desperate three-point shot by Tristan Gad in the dying seconds.

The thrilling escape enabled the Scorpions to finish the first phase of elims with a 6-2 record, good enough to assure themselves a spot in the second phase where the top four finishers play another round and the first two placers earning bonuses in the knockout quarterfinal round.

Meantime, Philippine Christian University-Dasmariñas secured the No. 1 spot with a thrilling 84-81 win over University of the Batangas to with a 7-1 record. Going for back-to-back titles, the Scorpions started tentatively and trailed the Pirates by three,
39-36, at the half despite the splendid performances of the 5-foot-8 dynamo in Daniel Marcelo and Franz Ray Diaz.

The dynamic duo pressed their attack in the third with Marcelo coming through with a couple of jaw-dropping dunks that highlighted their offensive spurts that saw them outscore the Pirates, 22-14, to build a 58-53 lead going into the final quarter.

CEU padded its lead to 72-58 on Diaz’s basket with 5:28 remaining but suddenly went cold offensively allowing to Lyceum to a stage a comeback and make the game interesting to the delight of the crowd.

Marcelo led all scorers with 26 points apart from logging one assist and one rebound while Diaz had a solid all-around performance of 23 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists.

Alpha Bah produced another double-double of21 points and 13 rebounds for the Pirates who fell to 3-3, tying Diliman College for 5th to 6th places.

The fifth to ninth places, meantime, also play another round with the last placer going to be eliminated first.

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