LETRAN dealt Lyceum of the Philippines University its second loss of the season, 80-79, in a weird ending to stay in the hunt for a Final Four bonus yesterday in the NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
With the Knights holding an 80-77 advantage, Jaycee Marcelino drained a triple to tie the game with 20 seconds left.
But after the final buzzer, game officials, in a late review that it supposed to be done immediately following Jaycee Marcelino's supposed three-point basket, found out that the Pirates guard scored only a long two.
That sealed Letran's victory - the 11th in 15 contests, moving two-and-a-half games behind LPU (14-2) in the race for the second twice-to-beat slot in the Final Four.
It also allowed defending champion San Beda (14-1) to grab the solo lead as the eliminations heads to the homestretch.
Inspired by the presence of Jerrick Balanza, who watched his teammates for the first time since his surgery, Bong Quinto dazzled for the Knights with big baskets down the stretch.
Quinto completed a three-point play that put Letran ahead, 78-76 with 2:08 remaining.
The Knights skipper then nailed another lay-up to give his side an 80-77 advantage at the 1:42 mark.
Larry Muyang also played a huge role in Letran's win with 23 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks.
Quinto added 20 points, seven boards and four assists while JP Calvo had 18 points, six assists and four boards for the Knights.
Cameroon’s Mike Nzeusseu had 25 points and 10 rebounds while the Pirates' reigning MVP CJ Perez chipped in 16 points, but was scoreless in the second half.
Earlier, Levi dela Cruz shot 19 points as Arellano University earned its first win under interim coach Junjie Ablan with an 86-70 rout of Jose Rizal University for a 5-10 card
Laurenz Victoria and Noah Lugo delivered the goods as Mapua carved out an 80-67 victory over Emilio Aguinaldo College for its fifth win in 16 games.
In the juniors division, Mapua nipped EAC, 74-73, to formalize its Final Four entry with a 12-4 mark
Letran (80) -- Muyang 23, Quinto 20, Calvo 18, Ambohot 6, Fajarito 4, Batiller 3, Galvelo 3, Celis 2, Taladua 1, Yu 0, Balagasay 0.
LPU (79) -- Nzeusseu 25, Perez 16, Marcelino JC. 9, Pretta 8, Marcelino JV. 7, Ayaay 5, Caduyac 4, Santos 3, Ibanez 2, Serrano 0, Valdez 0, Yong 0.
Quarterscores: 18-21, 44-48, 64-68, 80-79.