The Lyceum Pirates continued their strong start in the 2019 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup, notching their third straight win on Friday.
The NCAA runners-up the past two seasons scored a huge 101-96 come-from-behind victory over the Letran Knights.
Led by the clutch performance from Raymar Caduyac, the Pirates clawed their way back from a 13-point deficit to steal the win against their Final Four combatant last season. Caduyac top-scored with 18 points while reinforcement Mike Nzeusseu notched a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Jaycee Marcelino was equally superb with 18 points.
"We beat ourselves in the first half. We thought it was going to be easy but we were caught off guard by a very good first half from Letran," said Lyceum coach Topex Robinson. "We just wanted to enjoy and keep on playing, focus on what we have control of."
Allen Mina had a great game for the Knights, who suffered their first loss in four outings, as he dropped 30 points, including 6-for-10 from deep.
The San Sebastian Stags, meanwhile, had a rousing debut against the UP Fighting Maroons.
RK Ilagan and Allyn Bulanadi conspired for 34 points as the Stags bested UP, 74-64.
Ricci Rivero put up 19 points and Juan Gomez De Liano added 8 points for UP who were missing Kobe Paras and Javi Gomez De Liano. The Fighting Maroons dropped to a 2-2 slate.
The day's quadruple-header also featured wins from the CSB Blazers and La Salle Green Archers.
Led by Encho Serrano, the Green Archers defeated the CEU Scorpions, 71-67. Serrano nabbed 18 points, four rebounds, and two assists.
Big man Justine Baltazar put up a 14-point, 10-rebound outing while veteran playmaker Aljun Melecio did a little bit of everything for his squad, racking up 11 points, seven boards, and five dimes.
It was the second consecutive win for the Green Archers while the Scorpions settle for a 2-1 record. Jan Formento put up 22 points in a losing effort for CEU.
The CSB Blazers, meanwhile, earned their first win in the preseason with a convincing 79-56 against the JRU Heavy Bombers.
Yankie Haruna shot the lights out, going 7-for-10 from the field en route to 19 points.
The Blazers got out to a 18-4 first quarter that set the momentum of the game.
MJ Dela Virgen and Marwin Dionisio had 11 points apiece in the loss for the Heavy Bombers who are still winless after two outings.