MANILA – Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights barged to the finals of the NCAA Season 95 men’s basketball after beating Lyceum Pirates, 92-88, in the second phase of the stepladder semifinals at Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
Fran Yu finished with 20 points on Friday. Larry Muyang chipped in 19 points and nine rebounds, while Edson Batiller and Jerrick Balanza contributed 13 and 11 markers, respectively.
The Knights, which survived its second consecutive knockout match, will face defending champions San Beda University Red Lions in the best-of-three championship series starting on Nov. 12.
Trailing by a single point midway in the fourth period, the Knights leaned on the trio of Yu, Balanza and Muyang as they spearhead a huge 15-2 scoring run to establish an 84-72 advantage.
The Pirates, however, did not easily give up. They mounted a huge fightback to trim the deficit to 87-90 with 24 seconds left before Muyang and Batiller came up with crucial points to seal the win.
“I’ll give this one to my veterans. They never gave up so it was all about determination,” Knights head coach Bonnie Tan said. “I want to give San Beda something na ‘di siguro nabigay the past few years. Siyempre, we’re looking forward sa next level na laro.”
Jaycee Marcelino finished with 26 points, three rebounds three assists while Mike Nzeusseu posted double-double 19 markers and 15-boards for the ousted Pirates./PN