SAN SEBASTIAN dislodged College of Saint Benilde for the coveted No. 4 slot while Lyceum of the Philippines University posted its second straight second round win to seize solo second place yesterday in the NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
In an early second round game that has a lot of implications in the race for the last Final Four slot, the Stags beat the skidding Blazers, 83-67, and extended their winning streak to five.
Later in the day, the Pirates needed a huge third quarter breakaway to beat University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, 89-84, to improve at 8-3.
Allyn Bulanadi, who ranked third in the season MVP race in the first round that was dominated by San Beda, sustained his stellar play for San Sebastian with a career-high 32 points and nine rebounds.
The Stags avenged their 72-77 defeat to the Blazers in the first round and more importantly, gained the needed one-game cushion in the race for the last Final Four berth.
"We will take it one game at a time. Good thing, natalo namin ang St. Benilde kasi karibal na namin sa Final Four," said coach Egay Macaraya after San Sebastian tied Letran in third place at 7-3.
"Our first goal is to make it to the Final Four and I hope everyone is healthy and could do the same intensity on defense and offense para ma-sustain namin itong level ng laro. We have eight games left, maganda na ang itinatakbo namin and I know good things will happen," he added.
LPU, which turned the ball over 22 times, struggled in the first half before pulling away in the third period to build a 66-53 advantage and never looked back.
Coach Topex Robinson wanted his Pirates to be fearless in their Final Four push.
"More than that, it's more of moving ahead and looking at the brighter side kasi, we have a tougher run in the next two games against CSB and Letran. We wanted to build that momentum," said Robinson.
RK Ilagan had 13 points, five boards and four assists, while Alvin Capobres added 12 points and six rebounds for the Stags.
Jaycee Marcelino and Cameroon's Mike Nzeusseu shared the scoring mantle for LPU with 21 points while Raymar Caduyac contributed 11 points, nine assists, six rebounds and two steals.
SSC-R (83) - Bulanadi 32, Ilagan 13, Capobres 12, Desoyo 8, Calahat 7, Sumoda 6, Calma 3, Tero 2, Isidro 0, Altamirano 0, Cosari 0, Suico 0.
CSB (67) - Haruna 16, Nayve 10, Gutang 9, Young 8, Naboa 7, Belgica 5, Leutcheu 3, Carlos 3, Sangco 2, Lepalam 2, Mosqueda 2, Flores 0, Lim 0.
Quarterscores: 28-20, 48-39, 68-50, 83-67
LPU (89) - Marcelino JC. 21, Nzeusseu 21, Caduyac 11, Marcelino JV. 10, David 5, Guinto 4, Ibañez 3, Navarro 3, Tansingco 3, Pretta 2, Remulla 2, Santos 2, Valdez 2, Laurente 0, Yong 0.
Perpetual (84) - Peralta 20, Adamos 15, Razon 12, Aurin 9, Charcos 4, Martel 4, Sevilla 4, Barasi 2, Cuevas 2, Tamayo 2, Lanoy 0.
Quarterscores: 22-22, 40-39, 66-53, 89-84