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Lyceum beats San Sebastian to claim 2nd Final Four slot

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Games Tomorrow(Filoil EcoOil Centre)12 p.m. — SSC-R vs CSB3 p.m. — UPHSD vs AU

LYCEUM of the Philippines University (LPU) rode on the monster effort of Enoch Valdez as it downed San Sebastian College, 73-65, on Sunday to claim the second Final Four slot in NCAA Season 98 at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

Mr. Valdez unleashed a career-high 30-point effort and topped it with 11 rebounds and three steals to help propel the Pirates to their 11th victory against four losses and straight to the Final Four along with the Letran Knights (11-3).

The athletic forward made most damage in the fourth canto when he poured in 14 points, including some in transition after picking pockets of the unsuspecting opposing guards.

“I’m not really surprised because he’s really a hard worker in our practices, he’s one of my team leaders,” said LPU coach Gilbert Malabanan of his dynamo of a wingman in Mr. Valdez.

JM Bravo had 10 points and eight boards while team captain Renzo Navarro had seven points, five caroms, six assists and three steals before he was tossed out for taunting in the final quarter.

While Mr. Malabanan was all praises of Mr. Navarro, he rued his team’s bad habit of celebrating too much and too early.

“I kept telling my players to not celebrate until the final buzzer. They should stay focused, they don’t have to celebrate on the court because that’s not the culture we want in this team,” he said.

The Stags dropped to 6-8 but would need to sweep their last four games to have a chance at a Final Four spot.

Earlier, already-ran University of Perpetual Help (UPHSD) dragged Jose Rizal University (JRU) out of the Final Four with a 72-60 victory.

Skipper Jeff Egan had 14 points, eight assists and four rebounds to lift the Altas to a 7-9 record while also eliminating the Bombers, who dropped to 6-9. — Joey Villar

The Scores:

First Game

UPHSD 72 — Egan 14, Ferreras 14, Barcuma 13, Roque 12, Abis 7, Boral 6, Omega 3, Pagaran 3, Flores 0, Cuevas 0, Movida 0, Martel 0, Orgo 0

JRU 60 —Guiab 16, Miranda 11, Dela Rosa 8, Celis 5, Dionisio 4, Medina 4, Abaoag 4, Tan 2, Villarin 2, De Jesus 2, Delos Santos 2, Mercado 0, Gonzales 0

Quarterscores: 7-15; 25-30; 52-50; 72-60

Second Game

LPU 73 — Valdez 30, Bravo 10, Navarro 7, Barba 6, Umali 5, Guadana 4, Montano 4, Cunanan 3, Larupay 2, Villegas 2, Penafiel 0, Aviles 0, Omandac 0

San Sebastian 65 — Calahat 19, Altamirano 11, Yambing 8, Una 7, Villapando 6, Desoyo 6, Are 4, Suico 3, Sumoda 1, Escobido 0, Shanoda 0, Cosari 0

Quarterscores: 18-8; 36-23; 49-49; 73-65