Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) put on a defensive clinic as it overpowered Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC), 95-75, in the 94th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball tournament yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
The Pirates threw a defensive clamp on the Generals, forcing them to 38 turnovers to remain unbeaten in 12 matches, one game ahead of rival San Beda College that fashions an 11-1 win-loss slate.
“We know that our strength is our defense and we just have to keep feeding on it,” said LPU coach Topex Robinson.
CJ Perez fired 19 points while Mike Nzeusseu scattered 18 markers for the Pirates, who also swept the eliminations last year before falling prey to the Red Lions in the finals.
EAC hung tough in the first half when it battled LPU to 10 lead changes and four deadlocks.
A buzzer-beating triple from Ralph Tansingco gave the Pirates a 41-40 edge entering the break.
LPU then kept pressing in the second half that put EAC’s offense in total disarray.
Jerome Garcia unloaded a season-best 30 points including six three-pointers, but it wasn’t enough to help EAC from absorbing its ninth defeat in 11 matches.