Perpetual survives Lyceum, keeps play-in pursuit

Kim Aurin and Jielo Razon delivered the goods as Perpetual Help survived a hard-fighting Lyceum side, 72-69, to keep its pursuit for a play-in spot alive in the NCAA Season 97 on Sunday, April 24 at the La Salle Green Hills Gym in Mandaluyong.

Kim Aurin (Photo by NCAA GMA)

The Altas pounced on the turnover-prone Pirates before Aurin and Razon created the much-needed separation in endgame to move up to a 3-5 record and a tie with the San Sebastian Stags at the sixth spot of the standings.

With Lyceum threatening and cutting the lead down to just one after a Renzo Navarro triple near halfcourt, Perpetual answered with four quick points with Aurin completing left-handed layup before Razon scored another basket to restore order and take a 72-67 advantage with 1:31 remaining.

Aurin unleashed 22 points built on three triples and five rebounds while Razon provided support with 14 markers and five boards. Cris Pagaran also breached double-digits with 12 points.

First year coach Myk Saguiguit was glad his wards delivered to give themselves a fighting chance to secure one of the two remaining play-in spots.

“Yun ang sabi ko sa kanila heading into this game, gusto naming itapak yung first step so luckily nakuha namin tong against LPU but it’s another day tomorrow para mag-prepare for the EAC game,” said Saguiguit.

“Actually, si Razon nga hindi pa 100 percent eh dahil nung last game namin nakuha niya yung ankle sprain niya tapos kanina, tinamaan na naman. Buti nag-deliver si Aurin,” he added.

LPU still had multiple chances in the waning minutes but wasted the opportunities after committing two costly turnovers inside the final two minutes – first on a five-second inbound violation before Enoch Valdez overcooked a pass intended for McLaude Guadana with 13 seconds left and the Altas only ahead by only three points, 72-69.

Overall, the Pirates committed 30 turnovers which the Altas translated to 24 turnover points. Omar Larupay finished with 17 points to pace Lyceum which slid down to a 2-6 record.

The Pirates were already out of contention for a spot in the play-in as they will still finish outside the top 6 even if they force a tie due to inferior quotient.

The Scores:

PERPETUAL 72 — Aurin 22, Razon 14, Pagaran 12, Barcuma 7, Cuevas 5, Martel 4, Egan 4, Movid 3, Boral 1, Abis 0, Omega 0, Sevilla 0.

LYCEUM 69 — Larupay 17, Navarro 9, Guadana 9, Remulla 9, Bravo 8, Valdez 6, Cunanan 4, Umali 4, Guinto 2, Barba 1, Garro 0.

Quarters: 23-22, 41-36, 55-52, 72-69.

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